I'm writing this letter today for your own good. It won't be easy for you to hear nor digest these things but I have been holding them in for far too long. Each time I think you have changed for the better, butterflies fill my stomach and I hope beyond hope that this is the time that the change will remain. But then Jorge, you revert to old habits, things you know cause me pain. Living our lives together going two steps forward and one step back only gets us halfway of where we need to go. Like everyone who has come to know you, I can see and feel that you have a good heart. You have good intentions. But in a relationship like ours, you need more than good intentions to make it last. You need convictions and unfortunately Jorge, I still don't know what you're convictions are.
You came into my life two and a half years ago, after Joseph and I broke up. Right away, I saw how much better you were than him: You were kind, caring, and compassionate while Joseph was aloof, out-of-touch, and stubborn. Your personal story brought tears to my eyes each and every time I heard it. Of how you were the oldest of five children born to immigrants who left a war-torn country. You worked odd jobs to help pay for school. You overcame life-threatening pneumonia and three cysts and age 21. And despite all of that, you were able to find your true calling in the world. You found your passion turned it into what will be a lifelong career. Eventually, through hard work and dedication, you reached the pinnacle of your profession which gave you the opportunity to truly shape the world around us. It would be a time where you, the true Jorge Bergoglio, would be able to shine through and leave a stamp on this world for generations to come.
And so, you finally took over the business you had been working for your entire life. Yet right away, you came into conflict with your board members. Because they come from a different time and place, Jorge. Their ideas were old and out-dated and failed to account for the current world in which we live. You knew that what worked generations ago would not work for people today. You knew that the reason your business was failing when you took over was precisely because it had fail to adopt to the modern age. Your business was losing customers and, even worse, it was losing their children as future members as well. You had to do something to mix it up, to let people know that your business was adapting to the times in which we live. To do that, you decided to modernize your business.
At first, it worked great. You were a breath of fresh air in an otherwise hazy landscape. Your humility shone through. You weren't bound by the culture of conspicuous consumption that had become a way of life for previous owners. You did things your way. You reached out and touched those who had never been given the opportunity to be touched before. You brought forth pressing issues that the company had long ignored. You were able to create positive public opinion for the company, the levels at which hadn't been seen in decades. Knowing you and knowing who you are as a person, I was able to see that this was the real you. Seeing you out in the field, working side-by-side with people of all creeds and color, this was the true Jorge Bergoglio.
Unfortunately, it did not last. Despite all the good you had done, Jorge, it ended up being a burden on your company. Old traditions do not die easy and your company is no exception. Despite the positive direction your company had been headed under your leadership, your board members felt you had gone too far too fast. They wanted you to scale back the work you had done or, even worse, abandon it all together. Your speech changed, you began to fall into language that your predecessors had used. For every new positive reform you brought forth, another one would follow that would hinder previously made progress. You were stuck with one foot in the past and one foot in the future. Your heart wanted to keep going forward while your head told you not to upset the powers that be.
All of this came to a culmination last week on your business trip to America. There, while watching your address the American Congress, I finally was able to pinpoint the duality of your nature: What you personally believe and what the Vatican believes will never be in sync. Because of this, Jorge, your message will never fully be one that is true to yourself. Just listen to what you said: All life is sacred starting at conception but to be truly pro-life we must abolish the death penalty. Two biblical ideas that both serve no purpose in the modern world. Yet, there you are defending one idea, which happens to run contrary to a law in America guaranteeing that women may chose their own health decisions for themselves, while openly refuting another idea which remains legal in 31 states.
I know how hard this is for you, Jorge. You must balance the world of tradition versus the world of modernity. But when you do make decisions, those decisions will have repercussions. Last week, you had an opportunity to intervene in preventing the state of Georgia from executing its only woman on death row. Instead of doing so, you chose to instead meet with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Right there, in the flesh, you had an opportunity to save the life of a woman and instead chose to acknowledge a woman who had been openly denying people their civil rights. You cannot, Jorge, advocate for the abolition of the death penalty and then bail on an opportunity to personally save a woman on death row. When you do, you show that your words are for show and have no real meaning.
And so Jorge, I see no reason for us to stay together anymore. Despite your recent mishap, I still honestly believe you're a good person. But you're just not the kind of person I want to be with in the long-term. In fact, to be honest, I don't want to be with anyone from your whole religion business. It seems the more things change the more they stay the same. You started out being different, but when push came to shove you were just like the rest of them: Steeped in tradition and painfully out-of-touch with important issues of the 21st century. Sure, you gave some people hope like when you accepted little Sophia's letter on behalf of her undocumented immigrant parents. Yet, in the end, you chose to see a bigoted clerk rather than save the life of a woman on death row. That right there, Jorge, is why I'm moving on from our relationship and I'm not looking back any time soon.
A. Former Fan
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