Pope Francis’s visit to Cuba and the United States last week was another tour de force, and he remains the supremely agile and likeable incumbent on a high-wire where he is admired by a full range of Catholic opinion, enjoys great popularity generally, and continues to leave the anti-Catholic Western media and conventional adherents to the multi-state established religion of atheism mute and gape-mouthed in their inability to torment him and his institution, as they did his predecessors, as an anachronism. It became much more difficult, once he said, in reference to those of homosexual orientation in the clergy who maintained their vows of sexual abstinence, “Who am I to judge?” and after he made the point in his famous interview with Civiltà Cattolica that it was not the role of the Roman Catholic Church to scold people about their sex lives but to be the ark of the Christian message and that all souls were of equal importance. The numerous media choristers and other purveyors of conventional wisdom, who had been catechismally incanting for years that the Roman Church was just a hypocrisy-and-superstition factory run by a creaking gerontocracy of celibates and closet queens trying to put a hex on any non-marital sex, have become steadily more impatient to find a new line of attack. This visit did not provide it...Again, I believe that Francis' conservative critics misunderstand what he is doing. He is not a leftist--the left in Argentina, who knew him well, hated his guts. He is an Argentinian with a profound hatred of crony capitalism, which in the U.S. is called socialism. His beliefs and instincts are Catholic to the core, and everything on faith and morals he teaches is straight out of the Catechism. We have to listen to what he says, not to what the media say about what he says.
No occupant of his position will please everyone, but there is a good deal of evidence that the Roman Catholic Church is strengthening appreciably in many places, and that the deafening proclamations and smug assumptions of its imminent demise have again been proved false. Francis enjoys far greater prestige and popularity than any secular leader, and he represents something a good deal more compelling than any current statesman; his first visit to the world’s most important country was a distinct success.
What Pope Francis is accomplishing is quite remarkable: he is stealing (back) the memes of the Left, and showing the world that love for the poor and humility and forgiveness and stewardship of nature and simple human decency are deeply Catholic traditions that have been co-opted by the Left is a sort of demonic counterfeit.
My wife loves this pope. She is not Catholic, and not even really Christian, but she loves the guy. She told me a couple of days ago "I love him more than you do". That's not true, but it's clear that Francis is doing great things for the Church of God.