I have been fairly critical of the Roman Catholic Church — and every prediction I made about the selection of a new Pope has come to pass. Here is what I wrote in a recent column about the conclave:
As the College of Cardinals slinks into Rome to elect a new Pope, the usual chorus of eternal optimists and media lapdogs follow close behind. The secular press is ecstatic because they can pose as pious while lifting sagging newspaper sales and static cable ratings. Beaten down progressive Catholics will do their predictable dupe dance, hoping against all odds that an almost modern pontiff will be elevated to the throne.
Of course, we already know the outcome, given that the last two Popes stocked the pool of bishops and cardinals with ideological clones, ensuring conservative continuity. If this weren’t bad enough, the former Pope will be looking over the new boss’ shoulder and has even installed his live-in “personal assistant,” to serve the Pope-elect, guaranteeing he has eyes and ears inside the Vatican.
Like clockwork, the old men in the pretty building selected a conservative clone, Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who despises homosexuals, looks down upon women, and shows no inclination to change outdated and oppressive rules that attract pedophiles to serve the church. During his unsuccessful fight against Argentina’s “Equal Marriage Law” in 2010, Bergoglio said:
“Let’s not be naive,” he wrote of same-sex marriage. “This is not a simple political fight; it is a destructive proposal to God’s plan.”
What I find fascinating is the perverse excitement from obsequious media and hardcore Catholics over the fact that Bergoglio is from South America. What they do not seem to comprehend is that the Vatican does not have a geography problem, they have an ideology problem — primarily that they are negotiating the modern world with a medieval mindset. The Cardinals and faithful Catholics can rejoice in a favorable news cycle from selecting a man from another continent, however, what they really have done is recycle a value system that has landed Rome in a deep moral malaise that it is unlikely to emerge from. (And there are still questions about the Pope’s support for a brutal dictatorship in Argentina)
Polls show that most American Catholics strongly disagree with the Roman Catholic Church’s hierarchy on key issues, including the direction of the church. What has the selection of Francis I done to change this sour dynamic?
The new Pope will have a grace period, but unless he shows more grace that the last Pontiff, he will encounter the same problems that have bedeviled the church. And that’s fine with me. If the Vatican wants to continue a war with nature, modernity, and the future, guess who is going to win and who is going to lose?