Catholics have elected a new pope, and Republicans have not elected a new president. But both organizations are receiving a great deal of advice on how to make their organizations relevant for modern times.
Conservative Republicans are in tune with the philosophy contained in the books "Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith and "Freedom to Choose" by Milton and Rose Friedman. Of course, much of the "good" advice to Republicans would have the party further morphing into "Democrat lite."
Catholics who are followers of the teaching of Jesus are being asked to ignore the teachings contained in the Bible about what is sinful in the sight of the Lord. The Catholic Church also is being helpfully advised to become something it cannot be, namely "secular lite."
I don't know if Republicans can ever win again as the party standing for personal liberty and responsibility. If voters believe that liberty is no longer important, then conservatives are obsolete, and the party leaders will choose "Democrat lite."
Of much greater importance is for the Catholic Church not to become "secular lite." As much as the evangelical community opposes some Catholic traditions, a strong Catholic Church fearlessly preaching the Gospel fortifies and comforts those reformers whose highest loyalty is to their faith in Jesus and to churches proclaiming the good news. People can endure political upheaval, but can they have life in the fullest by following the teachings of a popular, anything goes, celebrity God?
Peter F. Zych
Hilton Head Island