RORATE CÆLI: “Ten years of Pope Francis: lights, shadows and glooms”: Miguel Angel Quintana Paz

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Two amusing gaffes in the Spanish media on Monday accompanied the tenth anniversary of the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the 26th bishop of Rome. The headline of the InfoCatólica portal read: “One hundred years since the election of Francis as Pope”. On the television channel La Sexta, its announcer proclaimed that “his arrival as the first black pope at the Vatican revolutionized public opinion.”

There is no need to get Freudian to see how much these two gaffes reveal about their issuers. It would seem that for a conservative media such as InfoCatólica, this pontificate is taking a long time, and hence its hesitation as to whether we have been with him for a decade or perhaps a century. On the other hand, for the progressives of La Sexta, Francis undoubtedly embodies a praiseworthy identity symbol, Wokist, as Barack Obama was in his day; perhaps it would have been exaggerated to announce him as the first non-binary or trans pontiff, so leaving him as the first black pope reveals, in the end, a certain moderation.

Beyond the missteps of one or the other, it is true that evaluating a pontificate like the current one entails no small number of difficulties. The first one I would like to point out is that there are many (both inside and outside the Church) who misunderstand what it means to be pope. And the faults lie mainly in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In the 19th century, with the emergence and expansion of political ideologies, many began to consider Catholicism as just another one. And if Catholicism is an ideology, the Church is then a political party and its pope, the supreme leader. No one becomes a Bolshevik in 1917 if it is not to honor Lenin; no one becomes a British Conservative in 1875 if it is not because he likes Disraeli. The consequence of this erroneous vision of Catholicism is regrettable: just as in a political party criticism of the supreme leader is frowned upon (it so hinders its goal, access to power!), those who see Catholicism from the perspective of an ideology will also abhor any criticism of its supreme leader, the Sovereign Pontiff.


RORATE CÆLI: “Ten years of Pope Francis: lights, shadows and glooms”: Miguel Angel Quintana Paz

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