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Pope Francis’ new clothes: Why his progressive image is white smoke and mirrors
Don't buy his populist rhetoric. The new pope is every bit the sexist homophobe as his predecessorsTHE IMAGE OF Pope Francis is that he is a breath of fresh air, more progressive on social issues than his predecessor and a kinder, gentler pope. But when the facts are examined, you see that he is none of these things. There is an enormous disconnect between who the pope really is in terms of his policies and his public relations image, as crafted by the Vatican’s PR man, previously with Fox News. [That's right, blame the Vatican PR flack, not the hundreds of reporters and bloggers who put the "progressive Pope" filter in place before the PR flack even knew who the new Pope was.] The current PR mission is all about reversing the incredible decline in fundraising under the last pope from the U.S. Catholic Church in particular. Pope Francis has made any number of statements that seem to indicate change and progress that are not reflected in policy. In fact, in the wake of such comments from Pope Francis, the Vatican often makes a point to explicitly state that no church policy has changed. ...
There's really no point in reading any further into March's meltdown in Salon; it's as predictable as outrage porn gets. Four-fifths of the media world outside the Catholic bubble don't have a firm grasp on religion, let alone Catholicism; the image persists that the Pope is a dictator who can translate his every caprice into dogma, without reference to Scripture or the apostolic tradition. Witness March's references to "church policy", as if Catholic doctrine were no more than the personal tastes of the current management ... as if the Catholic Church's government were analogous to that of the Presbyterian Church USA.
Anna March, Get. Over. Yourself. You and the other progressive talking heads have only yourselves — you, not the Sala Stampa — to blame for your expectations of change in doctrine — that's right, "doctrine", not "policy". I and other Catholic writers said when he was elected that it wasn't gonna happen, that his papacy would a change of style from Benedict XVI but not a change of substance. We said that Francis shared the same theological positions as Benedict; but just as you ignored Benedict when he said things that didn't fit the "God's Rottweiler" paradigm, you ignored Francis when he said things that didn't fit the "progressive Pope" paradigm.
So now you've got a moment of clarity ... and you blame your delusion on the Vatican press office? As a fund-raising effort? Puh-leeze! Don't put all your ignorance on display in one post; save some for others. You and your progressive allies did it to yourselves.