I have to hand it to old Jorge, as far as popes go, he seems like a pretty stand up guy. If you’ve seen recent news, he has urged catholic priests to ponder ‘WWJBuy’ when contemplating cars. That is to say, he doesn’t think priests should be driving the fanciest new automobile when they should be living in humility. If you grew up around plenty of Southern Baptists like I did, you’ve heard a similar sentiment, “The preacher condemned money as the root of all evil, then jumped in his personal helicopter to do his next sermon up the road.”
This isn’t the first time Jorge has said something smart, the guy is full of good news, and I think a lot of people who are fed up with the Church are quite hopeful with him. He washed the feet of women and non-christians during that one little ritual where a man wearing a magnificent robe washes the feet of criminals (one of my favorites). He has urged world governments to help with poverty, and considers our cult of money the root of our problems. He even briefly said that you don’t need to be Catholic or even Christian to go to heaven, before the official Vatican said that the head of their whole religion was flat-out-wrong.
Sure, Jorge is doing a bang up job as Pope. I still don’t like him, not one lick. Why? Doesn’t he feel a lot like a giant smoke screen?
Now mind you, anyone who isn’t a Catholic does not and should not care one bit what the pope says. But for the same reason people hang on the every word of the Dalai Lama, hearing what the leader of one of the world’s largest faiths has to say can be impactful even to those who aren’t in his religion. People, the faithful in particular, want to hear from this instrument of god that the poor are worth saving, that even sinners are worth saving, and that the Church has been naughty in the past. It confirms their feeling that the Church is pretty balls. More than actually changing the Church, this helps their public image.
I think that’s what I just don’t like. I don’t feel like Jorge is trying to actually do anything, he feels more like a wonderful PR campaign for a fractured and wheeling Vatican. Not that Catholic numbers are dropping, they are just falling (relatively) in Europe. After stories of corruption, crime, pedophilia and abuse, you can imagine that the reputation of Catholicism hasn’t been too good in the Western World.
So what better way to solve that than to make the man in a big hat go out and dance for the people. Compared to my good friend and yours, Ratzinger, Jorge seems like a saint (even though I hear Ratzinger will be the actual saint soon enough).
So what is there to hate? Even if he is just a man in a penis shaped hat, he is still saying good things right? I agree, except he is pretty selective about what he says good things about.
I mean, the real matters that the Catholic Church has had issues with, the things that make my blood boil, he hasn’t spoken up about those (except child abuse, credit where it is due).
I mean, such a progressive Pope, Jorge, surely he has figured out that the Church’s strict campaign against the use of condoms leads to needless population growth, the spread of STDs, and lackluster sexual education. Well, no, he is actually strictly against the use of contraception in a way that would make even Santorum proud.
What about women? The Catholic Church is pretty okay with women. There was a recent problem where women wanted more power within the Church, but Ratzinger sort of told them to screw off. Well hope abound, as Jorge comes in. Except he has echoed the same stance, Come on Catholic women, obedience is more important than having any sort of say.
Pope Francis is a nice guy though, he thinks that homosexuals should be treated with kindness. Hate the sin, not the sinner, that all important phrase to help cover the tracks of bigotry. Of course, he thinks their hopes for equal marriage are a plot by the devil:
“Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
He also thinks that gay adoption is equal to child abuse. So I’m starting to wonder if he didn’t have that old sinner motto a little flipped.
Look, Catholics are supposed to be the ‘smart’ Christians. These are the guys that sort of accept evolution, the guys who study the stars. If it wasn’t for that whole telling me I’ll burn for eternity if I don’t accept their magical sky-dad thing, I would love Catholicism. It is so delightfully occult, with men in runic robes who speak secret words over the bones of their long-dead leaders. But if you think the Catholic Church has suddenly become some progressive organization, you might need to double check a few things.
As for Pope Francis, my good pal Jorge, I think he is taking good steps to relieve a lot of the worlds problems. I just don’t like him.