Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Welcome Pope Francis

This is only loosely connected to reading the Great Books, but I wanted to comment on it anyway.  Today, for likely the only time during this reading list, we have a new Pope.  He has chosen the name Francis, to honor St Francis of Assisi.  We don't have any of the writings of St Francis on the reading list.  His actions spoke louder than his written words. 
  • The new pope is a Jesuit, the first one to become pope.  The Jesuits represent some of the finest learning and thinking in the Catholic church, and I'm astounded that this is the first time one has been elevated so far.  
  • I'm not Catholic by heritage or practice.  I'm an outsider but an interested outsider.  Having said that, I've been very tired of non-Catholics promoting very obviously non-Catholic people to the position of pope.  Fine, you don't like Catholic teaching, we got it.  The next time Planned Parenthood looks for a new president, I half hope that Catholics all over the world talk loud and long about how the new head should be opposed to abortion.  That would be equally productive.
  • Even from the outside, I find the whole process of choosing a new pope to be amazing.  The weight of centuries can clearly be seen in the ceremony of it all.  We do a good bit of pomp and circumstance when we inaugurate a new President but it pales in comparison.  
  • I wish Pope Francis all the luck and good fortune possible.  I don't agree with all Catholic teachings but the world is better for having high profile moral leaders. 

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