New Pope, old ideas
I’m sure most of you have heard by now that the next Pope has been chosen. It’s this guy.
His real name is Jorge Bergoglio, and he came from Argentina. As Pope, he will be called Francis. And other than that, we don’t know a whole lot about him. He was discussed this morning on the Diane Rehm Show, and as I was listening during my morning commute I appreciated the insight of Father James Martin, an American Jesuit priest. The transcript of today’s show hasn’t been published yet, so I must paraphrase his comments:
‘Bergoglio is a conservative Catholic, so I don’t see him changing the Church’s policies towards gays or contraception.’
Fair enough. A little disappointing, but not surprising for the leader of an oppressive worldwide religious institution.
But then Martin goes on to stick his foot in his mouth, as religious folk are wont to do. Once again, I paraphrase:
‘But the Pope shouldn’t really be worried about social issues like that. Now is a time to bring the gospel to the people and introduce them to Jesus.’
Oh. Is that so? You’re kind of a prick if you think the head honcho of the religion that preaches love should ignore the suffering of the LGBTQ community, ranging from simple marriage discrimination to execution. Contraception was discussed in the context of financial inequality, but apparently the Pope gets to disregard the plight of even devout Catholic families with too many mouths to feed. Father Martin, if you really wanted to introduce more people to Jesus’ teachings of tolerance and support for the poor, you could start by following his damn example.
Besides dismissing the blatant opportunity to emulate the good deeds of your savior, you suggest that more people need to be introduced to Jesus. Really? Christianity is one of the largest religions in the world and has a vice-grip on social and legal policies in many regions, but you still think spreading it further is a higher priority than alleviating suffering? Either you lack the compassion you claim to hold so dear, or you’re stupid.
Not that it’s even the Pope’s responsibility to reach barbarians who haven’ t heard the good word yet. That’s what missionaries are for. And then local priests reinforce it. No, Francis will ride around in his Popemobile, trusting God to protect him with bulletproof glass and speaking Latin. He might announce that God spoke to him about those social issues we should be ignoring, but he sure as hell won’t be telling clergymen how to keep their parishioners in line.
On a rather tangential note, SASHA has been having our own Popewatch for the past several weeks, and I was really hoping we’d end up with this lovely fellow.
This is Angelo Scola of Italy, and he has the coolest God-damned stick of any of the major Pope contenders. Sure, Francis has bling, but this guy knows where it’s at. Ah, well. At 71 years old, he’s five years Francis’ junior, so maybe he’ll be around for the next conclave.
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