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December 31, 2014


Peter G

Lapsed Catholic that I am, even I find the new pope refreshing. He's still got that new pope smell. Mind you I keep having to inform people that this new pope has not really changed any of the basic church dogmas that I find offensive. In particular the main one would be its patronizing attitude toward women that borders on misogyny. Even this pope is going to have a hard time changing the Catholic church. He cannot easily overturn existing dogma speaking ex-cathedra for this would conflict with the very doctrine of papal infallibility on which his authority rests. Still I do admire pragmatism and he is doing what he can while raising fever blisters on the old guard conservatives. I could only wish he was about twenty years younger.

Anne Dillon

As a recovering Catholic, I totally agree with Peter G. I think Pope Francis is moving quickly because he is not 20 years younger. He obviously needs to do as much as he can as fast as he can. I think he is brilliant, and I worry that some disgruntled folks may do him in.

William Caulfield

P.M. - I was feeling the same way last night while reading Dante, but in my case it was the poetry that was pulling me in. Once past Inferno it gets better and better.

It will need a new reading of the Lotus Sutra to pull me back ;)


As a kid of the GWB years, it always felt to me like Christians should have been anti-Republicans. My Republican and Christian friends were disgusted by this belief of mine, of course, but it always seemed more intuitive to me. Caring for the poor and respecting the world that God allegedly created are not the hallmarks of the American right, to say the least. It seems like "God wants you to be rich" and the anti-abortion movement became the deal on the right. But still, my belief persisted. Were not all of those folks in South America not more reasonable, I wondered?

This pope seems like a paradigm shift in that maybe it was just a wait for the right guy at the top. Sullivan has been gushing about Francis for a while which Mr. Carpenter has surely noticed.

And if anyone doesn't think a paradigm shift is at hand, P.M. is joking about getting religion, and I'm not far behind.


So now the Know-Nothing branch of the GOP can finally re-embrace their catholic-hating roots.

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