“Francis’s fact-free flamboyance reduces him to a shepherd whose selectively reverent flock, genuflecting only at green altars, is tiny relative to the publicity it receives from media otherwise disdainful of his church. Secular people with anti-Catholic agendas drain his prestige, a dwindling asset, into promotion of policies inimical to the most vulnerable people and unrelated to what once was the papacy’s very different salvific mission. He stands against modernity, rationality, science and, ultimately, the spontaneous creativity of open societies in which people and their desires are not problems but precious resources. Americans cannot simultaneously honor him and celebrate their nation’s premises.”
—–Columnist George Will, appropriately cutting through the hypocrisy and hype surrounding Pope Francis’s visit, as well as his irrelevant policy advocacy for which he possesses neither the credibility nor the authority to receive the attention it will receive.
Thank you, George.
Oh, there are lots of wonderful and much-needed statements in Will’s piece; I could have justified making the whole column a Quote Of The Month. This one might be even better:
“In his June encyclical and elsewhere, Francis lectures about our responsibilities, but neglects the duty to be as intelligent as one can be. This man who says “the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions” proceeds as though everything about which he declaims is settled, from imperiled plankton to air conditioning being among humanity’s “harmful habits.” The church that thought it was settled science that Galileo was heretical should be attentive to all evidence.”
Bingo. I have had to reschedule two seminars in Washington, D.C. because the Pope is literally shutting down the city. Why? Why should any aspect of our lives as Americans grind to a halt because a man who claims a divine wisdom that most of the American public does not attribute to him (and should not) presumes to lecture us? He is pontificating (literally!) regarding matters that neither his own background nor the position he occupies provides legitimate reason to regard him as having sufficient expertise, perspective, or moral standing beyond the humblest blogger or citizen toting a sign.
Most galling of all, why isn’t the exploitation of the Pope’s archaic influence by progressive activists who spend the rest of the year mocking Christianity discredited in the news media as the cynical exercise it is?
“Americans cannot simultaneously honor him and celebrate their nation’s premises.”