At Hell’s Bible there is an op-ed which exemplifies some of the fuzzy thinking going around about Pope Francis. The basic idea is that Pope Francis is the very bestest and most wonderfulest ehvur. He’s going to get rid of all the stuff we don’t like so we have have sex with any animate or inanimate thing we want, etc. He’s sort of a Catholic president Obama.
In fact, Pope Francis is not going to change the Church’s doctrines on faith and morals. He just won’t. When liberals figure this out – really figure it out – they will eventually turn on him.
A couple telling paragraphs:
Lapsed, but Listening
By TIMOTHY EGAN
The Jesuits have always tried to get people to think for themselves, to arrive at belief through an arduous process. When bishops started telling parishioners that their gay and lesbian siblings were sinners, and that family planning was a grievous wrong, people stopped listening to them — for good reason.
“In terms of people in the pews, the Catholic Church lost roughly one-fourth of its strength over the last 35 years,” wrote the political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell in their book “American Grace.” They argue that when the religious right politicized faith, they put a “not welcome” sign on the door for millions of people of faith. This was compounded by the hypocrisy of these same moral authorities protecting pedophile priests while ignoring the lifelong anguish of the victims. For much of the 20th century, the Catholic Church in places was essentially organized crime in clerical garb.
The spirituality of Pope Francis, like his namesake from Assisi, is by example. Shedding the glam trappings of power and the aura of invincibility, he lives in a spartan guesthouse, mixes with the folks and tries to give voice to the sick, the poor, the immigrant living in the shadows. He washes the feet of prisoners, and Muslim ones at that. He laments that worshiping “the god called money” makes for bankrupt human beings.
The church he envisions would be a “home for all,” not “a nest protecting our mediocrity.” It’s strong stuff, long overdue and as refreshing as a brisk wind blowing down from the Dolomites.
His second strategy is aimed at the hardened heart of the church inside Vatican Square — the curia. He has summoned the cardinals for discussions on how to reform the church, the role of women and posture toward divorced Catholics. One goal is to remove the adjective “scandal-plagued” from curia.
No fancy cars, he admonishes the high clerics. Clean up the Vatican bank. The word “monsignor,” which means “my lord,” is out for elites. And enough with the “interminable and boring homilies where no one understands anything.” If that weren’t enough, he went after the cult of power: “Heads of church have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers.”
The only problem with Francis is his age. If he were 50, he might have a quarter-century to move his church up several centuries in enlightened thinking. His time is short. But what a miraculous sprint, producing this minor miracle: the lapsed are listening.