The Pope’s there for life, right? Wrong!

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

What?! …The Pope doesn’t want to be the pope anymore? …Oscar Pistorious is in court, six months after the Olympics, charged with premeditated murder?

Both these news reports beggar belief.

Last weekend, if I had asked anyone if they thought the Pope was “in post” for life and if they thought Pistorious was a hero, it would be fair to say the results would have been a resounding “yes”. But this week, these two unrelated news stories have changed all that; they have shaken two widely held beliefs to the core, leaving us bewildered, baffled, blindsided.

Core beliefs are the essence of how we see ourselves, other people, our world. They develop over time; they are strongly held, rigid, inflexible, and are often maintained by a tendency to focus on information that supports that belief. The last time a pope resigned was 600 years ago, and millions of us watched Pistorius, a double amputee athlete, sprint down the track at the London Olympics – pretty convincing stuff.

Oscar Pistorious - London 2012
Oscar Pistorious – London 2012

Have we put the Pope and Pistorius on pedestals? Undoubtedly. The Pope was placed there by his peers; Pistorius ran all the way up the steps. Being the pope for life is a “tough gig”, and the pressure of celebrity must be enormous for both of them. It now appears our widely held beliefs that “popes are for life” and “athletes are heroes forever” need changing. Changing a core belief is actually quite easy; you simply stop believing them. It doesn’t take much time… In these two scenarios, it was a matter of days.

Catholic Church (England and Wales) / /

CC BY-NC-SA Sum_of_Marc / / CC BY-NC-ND

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Lindsay McLoughlin has a love affair with social media. She combines these tools to great effect with her other big love – blogging! She runs a copywriting, blogging, editing and proofreading service at She loves talking to and interacting with anyone that will “listen” over social media. Check out her blog at or connect with her on social media. She’d be delighted!

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4 Responses to The Pope’s there for life, right? Wrong!

  1. Changing our core beliefs can happen very quickly. A circumstance or piece of news can literally send us 180 degrees on ourselves. However, is it as easy to challenge our long held beliefs that haven’t suddenly been given a microscope to analyse them under? Yes and no. Yes – we just need to find a compelling enough reason to change them. No – we’ve held on to our beliefs because they’ve served us in the past. We have to learn to recognise that they are no longer useful to us, but still have respect for having had them in the first place This makes letting them go a little easier – it’s like parting with a much loved old car knowing it’s time to upgrade.
    This was an interesting blog to think about how we think about beliefs.
    I love thinking about thinking – thanks Lindsay.

  2. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful info specifically the last part I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

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