Changes in modern world alter papal influence
Religious scholars discuss the relevancy of the papacy in the wake of Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign.
The rise in technology has been a double-edged sword for the church. Young people trying to decide whether to remain Catholic have access to more arguments than ever about why they should leave. At the same time, technology has built a greater intimacy between the pontiff and the public.
Compared to many evangelical groups, the Catholic Church was slower to take advantage of the Internet. But the pope is now on Twitter.
“They have a backstage pass to the Vatican,” said David Kinnaman, president of the Barna research group and author of “You Lost Me” and other books about young Christians and religion.
Mark Noll, a scholar of evangelical history at the University of Notre Dame, argued it would be wrong to view the papacy as weakened because of the challenges before the church. Given the splits within Protestantism and among secular-minded people, few leaders have the platform a pope does.
“The papacy remains the world's oldest continual functioning institution,” Noll said.
Life Photo Galleriesview all
- 12863Oklahoma tornadoes: Plaza Towers Elementary School teacher shoved students into bathroom as wall collapsed
- 11549Oklahoma tornadoes: Cost, custom keep basements scarce
- 5770Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 5166Downtown wish list includes Super Target
- 4505OU softball: Sooners inspired by Casey Angle, run-rule Texas A&M
- 4325Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 3991Oklahoma City pastor will face trial in fatal shooting of son-in law