Oh, Let Me Answer That for You, @eJoelWatts


Joel has certainly taken a liking to the new Holy Father (evidenced here, here and here).

He called out those of us who were quick to be pessimistic about this new Pope, once news began to spread about his demeaning comments about the LBGT community.  I was one of them, and I gave my mea culpa:

Given the early indications that this Pope emphasizes piety and care for the poor – something a liberal like me could hardly turn my nose up at – Joel has posed an interesting question:

What if Pope Francis, instead of changing doctrines and dogmas to fit the needs of Mainline Protestantism instead continues to do stuff like this? What if, after he cleans up what is widely regarded as the den of depravity — the Curia — Pope Francis remains more orthodox than ever but refuses to obey protocol? Instead, he brings humility, causes humility, shows compassion, causes compassion, and simple tries to show the love of the Gospel and who the Catholic Church believes Jesus is?

Pope Francis, what have you done?

Having had some very unpleasant encounters with Catholics who wish Vatican II had never happened, the idea of a Pope who would lead by example in the humility and care department excites me.

To answer your question, Joel, that would be good enough for me.  Not being a Catholic – and really not having a dog in this fight – I would be fine if this Pope could only muster a break from protocols and emphasizing care for and fellowship with the poor.

I’d be good with that.

Do I still find some of his more demeaning and offensive bits something to lament?  Yes.

However, like the uncle we all forgive for holding some racist ideas – mainly because he tells great jokes and really knows how to deep-fry a turkey – Pope Francis I will be given some leeway because of his penchant for the dirtier parts of the gospel, about which he has shown he cares.

Is this “not letting ‘the perfect’ be the enemy of ‘the good’?”

Either way, I don’t completely like it, but we probably could have done worse.

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