Thursday, May 1, 2014

When someone accidentally blurts out the truth in passing

I remain unconvinced on Pope Francis. My hope is that I'll have to eat my words, that, several years from now, I'll be writing a post where I say that I'm sorry I ever doubted him.

But I keep reading things that discourage me. Notice, here, for example, how John Allen, seeking to praise the Pope makes a staggering admission in passing:
In Rome the pendulum is swinging from public theater to behind-the-scenes substance this week, as two closed-door meetings tackle two of the most serious challenges facing Pope Francis: Vatican reform and the child sexual abuse scandals.
A more direct, and more honest, way to make the same point would be to say, "He hasn't actually done anything yet."

And that is a little troubling, don't you think, after a barrage of articles about how wonderful he is. John Allen is probably the best English-speaking Vatican journalist in the world and here he is allowing that Francis hasn't actually done anything. Pope Francis was made Time magazine person of the year in 2013 and here is the best-informed journalist we have on the subject casually allowing that the Pope's achievements are just street theatre!

And then there is this from the same article:
As is his custom, Francis is sitting in on the meetings but generally not saying much, preferring to listen to the discussion without injecting himself into it.
I'm sorry, but that isn't encouraging. As I say, I hope and pray that I am as wrong as wrong can be on this but what if this man is just a clever PR master who isn't up to the job? What if he is getting all this good press while sleepwalking into disaster?

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