I grew up Roman Catholic. I went to Catholic school through the fifth grade. I still have my first Holy Communion group photo.

I was also an altar boy. My first introduction to Latin was in learning the responses as the priest was going through the Mass. “Mea Culpa. Mea Culpa. Mea maxima mea culpa” rolls off the tongue. This was before the Mass went all-English.

The one thing I liked about attending Catholic school is that I didn’t have to attend Catholic instruction on Saturdays. Only Catholic kids who went to public school had to do that. When I started going to public school in the sixth grade, I had to go to Saturday instruction. I had to walk the two miles.

Now I learn it was all in vain. The new Pope has spoken. No more church, holy days of obligation, confession, penance, transubstantiation, and other Catholic doctrines and rituals for Catholics or anybody. As long as you follow your conscience – even if you’re an atheist – you can go to heaven:

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