Featured Post

Snapshots of the Present Condition

A mishmash of stuff. So much is going on that . . . well, here are some snapshots I have taken. Bernie in Philadelphia. Wow! I guess Berni...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The New Pope

Disclaimer: I am not Catholic. I comment with trepidation.

The Cardinals have picked an Italian Pope without picking an Italian Pope. It seems that the temporary break in Italian dominance of the position is ending via this choice and we will soon be back to normal.

That little snark aside, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is an interesting choice. He is the Buenos Aires-born son of an Italian immigrant father and an Italian-Argentine mother. Politically he has raised passions pro and con on all sides of the great political and social divides in the Western world. He has been accused of being a retrograde right-wing collaborator with the Argentine death squads during the "Dirty War"; of being a quasi-leftist campaigner for social justice; and of seeking better Catholic-Jewish and Catholic-Muslim relations. Some critics claim that his overly blunt and perhaps impolitic manner of opposing Argentine "same sex marriage" laws ensured their passage. He also has taken a strong stand against abortion, which is sure not to please certain persons. In other words the jury is still out, and nobody really knows what sort of a Pope he will become.

The task of the Pope, any Pope, in the modern world is an unenviable one. Does he stand like a rock against the tides of changing fashion and flexible moral standards, or does he "modernize?" Some see the first stance as leading to irrelevancy; some see the "modernization" tack leading to a "me-too" approach that also results in irrelevancy--this is not unlike the debate over the future of the Republican Party.

I don't pretend to know the answers and can only wish him well. I would note that a predecessor of his, John Paul II, played a major role in the liberation of hundreds of millions of persons with his anti-Communist stance, which almost cost him his life at the hands of an assassin. For that, all of us, Catholic and non-Catholic, owe an immense debt of gratitude to the Papacy, and, therefore, are reminded that whatever the critics say, the Pope need not be irrelevant to the great issues of the day. 


  1. I'm not Catholic either but American Thinker had a good article about Catholics who don't like being Catholic were not pleased with this selection. It was an interesting article. It will be interesting to see how this very humble man does with the trappings of power he now will have at his disposal.

  2. Donovan (forget his first name), a Boston Catholic unlike the Kennedys, said that conservative Catholics are going to love this Pope, while the others, the ones with one foot already out the door, are going to hate him.

    Frankly, as a Catholic, I have never understood those who claim to be Catholic, but don't subscribe to the teachings of the Church. They want it to change; allow priests to marry, openly accept homosexuality, openly accept abortion (a most henious practice) and allow women to become priests. I don't understand why these Cafeteria Catholics don't just find another religion that more suits their social beliefs. They don't like the teachings of the Church, so they strive to change it. No different than not liking guns so you want to eliminate the ability of others to buy a gun.


    1. I'm of the same mind as you in this.

      It is what it is, and if it's not to your tastes, we are not Muslims and will not kill you for leaving,(anymore).

      I think the reason for this phenomena is narcissism. People think that their wants matter in places where they do not.

      When Man ceases worshiping God he begins worshiping Man, and himself is the nearest idol to bend his knee to.


  3. Well let's see 1) he's a jesuit which will make the old guard in the Curia sweat. 2) he's from the conservative side of Argentina which will give the left the vapors. A key is the name he chose (Francis), is it Assissi the humble one or Xavier the soldier?
    The great tragedy is that once again Father Guido Sarducci has been passed over.

    1. Pope Francis has clarified that his namesake is Assissi and not Xavier according to Cardinal Dolan of NY.

    2. That's interesting. If I remember my Church history correctly (that's not a given) the Franciscans were formed as a reaction to Church corruption. Picking Assissi may give little comfort to a segment of the church leadership afterall.

    3. your memory is correct. should be some interesting times ahead for certain circles.

    4. James: What the Church omits re Francis of Assisi is that he studied with the great eastern Sufi teacher Suhrawardi. The latter had an order known as the Greater Brethren. Francis later names his order the Lesser Brethren. Suhrawardi was also reputed to have remarkable power over animals. And this is also what Francis of Assisi is celebrated for. The idea of simplicity and the coarse woolen robe also matches the eastern orders. Probably later led Francis to tackle the corruption and excess in the Church.

  4. I am a former Catholic who is now a practicing Episcopalian, after a 50 year gap. While I moved from Catholicism, I am extremely thankful for the sense of values it instilled in me. This Pope will do just fine. The people who oppose him are mostly liberal non-Catholics who have few values.

  5. Heh. Seems some people want a Unitarian to be Pope. I don't think it works that way...

  6. Told my daughter on Monday that whoever they chose, would not be a Jesuit.
    Right in line with my Super Bowl predictions.
    Am happy to be mistaken.
    On many levels, Pope Francis should please someone who reads this blog.
    V/R JWest

  7. In short, the Left is POed that in this modern era the Catholic Church would select a leader who is...

  8. Well, best wishes to the ROman Catholics here. As a conservative Protestant (bailed from a liberal denomination long ago), I long ago accepted that the Pope will be a Roman Catholic.

  9. back in the day when John Paul the II was newly elevated there was a very widely published political cartoon.

    first panel showed two russian communist dictators reading the newspapers and one asks the other "how many divisions does this man command?"

    second panel the other guy answers "What is the total population of Poland?"

    are we seeing a re run of that toon but with a different country?


  10. http://barnhardt.biz/

    .. read the second and third post. Ann eviscerates and pulls back the curtain.


    Debbie Schlussel also shows a gives a negative view of the pope.

  11. Hey Dip - Don't you want to comment on the 30+ Americans that were at the Bengazi attack that are worming their way out of the admin woodwork?
    I would love to hear your take on it.
    Why are Senators saying that they have spoken to some of these people but will not give any particulars about them?
    Probably anyone that reads this blog knows that a bunch of people made it to Tripoli and were airlifted out of the country. And then, we didn't hear from them...
    What is going on?