When I was growing up a frequent and sarcastic answer in the affirmative was based on the titular declaration above– or the even more clever, “is the pope Catholic?” The latter is a question I’ve heard uttered from both hopeful progressives and wary conservatives about Pope Francis. Turns out the answer is “yes,” and some folks don’t like it one bit.
In a particularly virulent article re-posted on Salon.com back in June, the author stated, among many other nasty complaints,
The new… is the same as the old sexist, nun-hating, poverty-perpetuating, pedophile-protecting homophobe, but gosh how the media loves him
Subtle. I decline to link the article or mention the post’s title or author by name. Anyone who has ten minutes they never want to get back can try a few keywords from the quote above and find it. Only someone with a Paul Bunyan-sized axe to grind about a great many things could turn an obvious truth (“yes, Pope Francis is really Catholic!”) into a conspiracy theory in which the pontiff is some kind of ultra-right wing sleeper cell luring unsuspecting political liberals and journalists <insert joke here> into loving him, only to find they’ve been duped with a cosmic bait-and-switch. Come to think of it, maybe she’s right.
Probably not. To be sure, Francis tilts too much toward Marx than Reagan for my liking, especially in the ways of politics and economics. But he’s our Holy Father, and he’s solidly Catholic. I believe he has a lot to teach us (that is, me!) about humility and charity. And, the more he disappoints writers like her, the more I like him.