Friday, March 15, 2013

A New Pope

So, the Roman Catholic Church has elected a new Pope, unlike the Anglo Catholic Church which doesn’t have a pope. A reporter on CBS Evening News kept properly calling the church by its proper name, Roman Catholic, while Scott Pelley kept referring to them rather idiotically as “Catholics.” There is no “Catholic Church,” actually.

The Anglo Catholic Church, in which I grew up, is headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, but they don’t make much fuss over him. In fact, they pretty much ignore him and pay little or no attention to any instructions he may issue, which he seldom does. I’m not sure what that says about either church, and don’t really care.

Pope Francis, who CBS News is idiotically calling Pope Francis the First because they don’t know that you don’t add numeric suffixes until they are needed, is a former Jesuit, which is probably going to be good for the Roman Catholic Church.

I’ve had a couple of courses taught by Jesuits, and I liked them both. The order is steeped in a culture of humility and poverty, and if Francis brings that to reforming the internal structure of the church it will be a very good thing indeed, but Jesuits are also very conservative as to dogma, so I would not be looking for changes in approach to gay marriage, the role of women, the marital status of priests and similar matters.

He called yesterday for the church to “find new ways to bring evangelization to the ends of the Earth,” which seems like a rather odd thing to do at this point. Seems to me that before seeking to expand one’s house one ought to first seek to get one’s house in order.


  1. Well, the Jesuits are known for education and missionary work, so that's in line with what he said. And maybe doing social works is a (better) way to evangelize, rather than simply preach dogma.

    And you didn't really expect anything to change with standard church dogma anyway, did you? I do think that this pope has a lot of promise, and could well be a refreshiingly different leader. Time will tell.

  2. I am pretty sure the church you grew up in isn't headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, but the Presiding Bishop of the ECUSA or a variation thereof. Unless you grew up in England that is.