Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Breaking up with the Pope is hard to do

Oh, that terrible moment when you finally realize the Pope you fell in love with is not the Pope who's running the Catholic Church nowadays.

Some people are still in denial, of course. Philip Pullella of Reuters, for example, chooses to believe that Catholic conservatives are some kind of political constituency that Francis has to keep pacified while he lays plans for Vatican III. So he insists that the Pope's reference to abortion in Monday's "State of the World" speech, in which he called the practice "horrific" and part of a "throw-away culture" in which "human beings themselves ... are discarded as unnecessary", is a mere nod to Church conservatives, backing his contention with one quote from Bp. Thomas Tobin of Providence and an allusion to conservative websites.

Well, yes, there are a few ultra-conservatives who think Francis doesn't go far enough on anything they hold to be crucial. But they've sung the same song about every pope who's followed Ven. Pius XII, with only slight changes in the lyrics here and there. No one who's been paying attention to Papa Bergoglio the last few months can doubt his orthodoxy, his sincerity or his passion concerning the horror of the Great Western Atrocity.

Philip, buddy, you're only fooling yourself. Francis is no Hans Küng; he's no Dan Berrigan or Andrew Greeley; he's not even the kind of Jesuit we here in North America have gotten used to. He's not the kind of progressive you're looking for, because the Church has her own goals and standards by which she measures "progress". You're only going to get hurt if you think he's going to change, or that he'll be okay if you just get him away from those big ol' meanie conservatives.

Maestro! A little break-up music, please.