As many of you might be aware we now have a new Pope (New improved Pope with it would seem 20% less saturated Germanic Zealotry 🙂 ). Of course technically we now have two Popes (buy one, get one free!), the new guy and old man Ratzinger holed up in some Italian seminary.
The new pope (Francis after St Francis of Xavier…not the professor!) is the first from the Americas and the first outside Europe since Byzantium. He is also the first Jesuit to be elected Pope. For those who don’t come from a Catholic country and don’t know what the hell a Jesuit is, they are basically a throw back to the counter reformation. If they had a motto it would be “Christianity without the contradictions.
The Jesuits don’t go in for all that folklorists crap in the bible (Jesus doing this and that before crucifix, all that sacred heart mumbo jumbo, then having a big long natter on the cross, etc.). They tend to point out the fact that you can’t really call yourself Christian and go around flaunting you’re wealth. Casing point, after getting the job, the new Pope turned his nose up at the Pope-mobile, went in a bus to his hotel, packed his own bags, even paid his bill on the way out!
Similarly Jesuits tend to be pro-live, but unlike the Tea Party or Republicans they extend this belief not just to unborn embryos or stem cells, but also to the living as well (e.g. anti-gun, anti-death penalty, anti-war, etc.). Consequently they tend to be into peace love and harmony, etc…..but not between members of the same sex mind!
So in short if you’re a Republican or a Tory (or Mr Bunga, Bunga himself!), one can scarcely think of a worse choice for a Pope. No doubt next time a politician gets caught with his pants down or his fingers in the cookie jar, or when bankers bonus time rolls around, we can expect an earful of preaching from the papacy.
Unfortunately, for anyone looking for a church that’s going to reform and modernise, forget it! Now I suspect that was always an outside chance no matter who they picked, but with Pope Francis its pretty unlikely.