They’ve announced their person of the year, and it’s…Pope Francis, The People's Pope.
You have got to be fucking kidding me. They’ve got this great pulpit with mass media attention to actually highlight the important events and people on the planet, and they pick the pablum-spewing head of an antique organization that demands its followers adhere to obsolete and dangerous beliefs, and this is what they say about it?
The papacy is mysterious and magical: it turns a septuagenarian into a superstar while revealing almost nothing about the man himself. And it raises hopes in every corner of the world—hopes that can never be fulfilled, for they are irreconcilable. The elderly traditionalist who pines for the old Latin Mass and the devout young woman who wishes she could be a priest both have hopes. The ambitious monsignor in the Vatican Curia and the evangelizing deacon in a remote Filipino village both have hopes. No Pope can make them all happy at once.
Jebus. It’s no more mysterious and magical than the Mafia, or the Medellin Cartel, or Phillip Morris, or the NRA, and the people who turn a septuagenarian into a “superstar” are the sycophants in the media.
But what makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all. People weary of the endless parsing of sexual ethics, the buck-passing infighting over lines of authority when all the while (to borrow from Milton), “the hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed.”
His virtue is solely palliative — he’s there to say soft words and create the illusion that the church isn’t the domain of child-rapists and oppressors. The church denies family planning to women in Africa, bounces pedophiles around to unsuspecting dioceses, buries tales of generations of abuse in Ireland, demands that women die in the name of fetus worship…oh, look! Pope Francis said atheists might get to go to heaven! Aww, he’s so folksy and kind.
The sheep are still not fed. But maybe they’ll be a little quieter in the slaughtering pen.
There can be only one reply.
As for Time magazine…I remember the old magazines that would gather dust on the coffee table at my grandparents’ house, Reader’s Digest and Look and others so tired that I can’t even recall their names, and I would read them because I was desperately bored, and I would mainly be curious about them because they represented what old people cared about (and near as I could tell, they didn’t even care that much about them). The magazines survived on subscription by habit, I suspect, and even then I could tell they were doomed. Welcome to that club, Time.