December 11th, 2013 | 4 Comments
Craig: …his weight with the commoners could unbalance everything. The Balliols will kiss his ass, so we must.
He’s obviously a nice man, therefore a dangerous man. We don’t want nice men in the Vatican.
That man is the most ruthless cunning evil and treacherous KAOS agent in the entire world… …and a heck of a nice guy
Simon was so likable that people could simply not resist him. There is a famous scene where the Chief moves forward to arrest him and instead asks for a wallet sized picture of him to keep.
That’s all I could think of when I heard the news of Pope Francis being named Time Magazine’s Person of the year.
At a time when the limits of leadership are being tested in so many places, along comes a man with no army or weapons, no kingdom beyond a tight fist of land in the middle of Rome but with the immense wealth and weight of history behind him, to throw down a challenge. The world is getting smaller; individual voices are getting louder; technology is turning virtue viral, so his pulpit is visible to the ends of the earth. When he kisses the face of a disfigured man or washes the feet of a Muslim woman, the image resonates far beyond the boundaries of the Catholic Church.
Part of the conservative critique is that Francis’ words and gestures cannot be fully reconciled with the legacy of previous Popes. Apparently aware of that potential for controversy, Francis has been skillfully citing the writings of former Pontiffs, stressing continuity. As the first Pontiff to be ordained a priest after Vatican II, he has been generous to the opinions of John XXIII, who convened that reformist council. But it is a delicate task given that Francis has one thing no Pope has had since the 15th century: a living predecessor. While Benedict resides in quiet retirement in the Vatican Gardens, he remains a potential rallying point for those who fear that Francis may hold the doctrinal reins too loosely. So far, Francis and Benedict appear to get on well: both men flatter each other, and Francis was especially generous with quotations from Benedict in his recent exhortation. In any case, Francis needs to keep his predecessor on his side, for it was Benedict who codified the conservative views of John Paul II, the hero of many Catholics, particularly those on the right of the spectrum.
But the truth is, if you consider the church your enemy (like Dawkins) this is another in a long line of disastrous positive media coverage of this Pope. The time will come where the left will simply not be able to tolerate Francis’ message and will demand the Media pivot before his My Chcemy Boga moment arrives.
In fact even in this writeup Time prepares for the moment that is to come:
It is important to remember that Francis has been Pope for less than a year, and a papacy can change character in midstream. In 1846, Pope Pius IX came to the throne as the great hope to liberalize Catholicism but by the end of his pontificate had become the great champion of conservatism—the font of infallibility and angry confrontation with secular powers like the newborn Italian state. The entrenched dynamics of the church can transform the would-be transformer.
The Irony? Francis would agree, he would say that the love of Christ has changed him and will do his best to assist Christ and the Holy Spirit to make that change throughout the entire world.