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Pope Francis: Secular Media Blatherings


As we are all settling in with our beloved Pope Francis at the helm of the universal ship of Christendom, let’s have a look at what is being said in the secular media, shall we? Oh, and of course, we’ll poke a little fun at them, as good Catholics are known to do.

First, the New York Slimes, ever caught up in old resentments, refers to Pope Francis as being from the “New World.” I don’t think I’ve seen that term since elementary school, in a history book article about Christopher Columbus. Pope Francis is of Italian ancestry but he is from Argentina. I can’t help but wonder if the “New World” reference is left-wing code for “product of white colonialism” which the left hates so much. We Catholics think fondly of our heritage in that our missionaries brought something of great value to the Americas — The Gospel.

The term “New World” was also used at the L.A. Times. The Detroit Free Press used the term “New World Pope” to describe Pope Francis in an editorial (screen shot below), but apparently thought better of it as the link now leads precisely nowhere.


Maria Shriver has a better use for the term.

Oh no! Damian Thompson used it, too? Oh well. He’s a Brit. We can let that slide, I guess.

At National Review, we are assured that we shouldn’t worry that Pope Francis is a Jesuit. I wouldn’t have, with or without their assurance, but I must say, this below is my thinking exactly.

People who worry that, as a Jesuit, he might be too liberal, should relax: A very conservative Jesuit priest of my acquaintance, who is unhappy with the liberal direction of his order, has been telling me for weeks that he supports Bergoglio for pope. Bergoglio is a solid conservative on the hot-button social issues that agitate American laity, but that would have been true of just about any of the cardinals who might have been elected today. The story here is that he is an outsider who is the consensus choice to fix what’s wrong with the church administration, but all in a Franciscan spirit of love and humility, to wipe the face of the church so that its inner beauty can radiate. St. Francis was called to “rebuild the church” — Pope Francis will act in that spirit.

Think Progress is not happy.

Bergoglio has affirmed church teaching on homosexuality, contraception and abortion and is considered to be among the most conservative in Latin America.

Isn’t it weird that a left-wing blog like Think Progress actually admits “Church teaching” on these issues is “affirmed” and is “conservative” politically, in their view? They should inform their pal Joe Biden.

At the Washington Post, I got as far as the first sentence which says that Europe has had a “stranglehold on the papacy” and decided not to read any more. As a Catholic, the idea of strangling nauseates me, but particularly in regard to papal elections.

The Guardian has a great headline, linked at Memeorandum, but beyond that, there is no mention of Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) until you scroll waaaaay down there. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

The Hill has coverage on President Barack Obama’s reaction. He has decided to give Texas to the Vatican as a gift from the American people. Just kidding. Still, this pre-election remark is almost as funny.

“It seems to me that an American pope would preside just as effectively as a Polish pope or an Italian pope or a Guatemalan pope,” Obama added during the ABC interview.

Aren’t you glad to know the president would have approved of an American? I am completely blown away by that. Do the Saudis know about this?

So, there you have it. Aren’t they cute? As for me, I am overjoyed. It seems to me that the election of a Latino Jesuit scientist who loves the poor, the unborn and traditional marriage is proof, in and of itself, that the Holy Spirit picks our popes for us. I could not be happier.

The Passionist Nuns are thrilled, as well. Habemus Papam!

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