Wednesday, July 24, 2019
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Catholic students differ on new pope
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Christine Nickel, left, and Kelly Prosen, right, attend the Catholic College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota. They're friends, but they also disagree on some church teachings. (MPR Photo/Tim Post)
Catholics in Minnesota are working to understand how the election of a new pope will affect them. For young Catholics, the future of their church is a passionate subject. We talked with two Catholic college students who, as friends, find themselves on opposite sides of one big issue in the church.

St. Joseph, Minn. — Christine Nickel and Kelly Prosen are both sophomores at the College of St. Benedict, a Catholic college in the central Minnesota town of St. Joseph.

The two friends have spent plenty of time talking about their Catholic faith lately. The election of Pope Benedict XVI has spurred conversations between them on the future of the church.

Christine Nickel considers herself a conservative Catholic. Nickel says her beliefs are aligned closely with church doctrine. For example, she's opposed to the use of birth control. And she doesn't feel women should be allowed to become priests.

Kelly Prosen, who calls herself a progressive Catholic, is on the opposite side of those issues. Prosen says sometimes she feels like a "bad Catholic" because of her views. But she's thinks women should be able to be ordained as priests. And she says birth control has its place, even for practicing Catholics.

The two students sat down with Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Post for a conversation about their ideas on the Catholic faith. To listen to their comments, choose the audio link in the right column.