Monday, February 16, 2009

The Downsized Pope

John Paul II was a force of nature, Bill Clinton without the sexual baggage, a supersized Barack Obama. You might not like his conservative views, you might not like his religion, but you could not help liking the man. Benedict XVI by contrast offends Muslims and Jews, then offers to make up for it on his official visits. You wonder what he’ll have to say about Hindus and non-believers, not to mention Buddhists and Baha’is. The current pope appears to have no authority, no outreach, beyond the conservative members of his flock and to be merely tolerated by the other Catholics.

Pop quiz: What other Roman Catholic leader does he remind you of?


Janne Morén said...

Now, that one's a stretch. There's plenty of differences after all; both may have firmly held principles and long-term beliefs, but the pope doesn't change his every two weeks.

Peter said...

Francisco Aso!

Peter said...

(Sorry, was the answer Pius XII?)

Jun Okumura said...

Good point, Janne, you got me there, though I think you mean “days”, not “weeks”.

Peter, you do me one better with your second suggestion, though I suspect that that Catholics in Pius XII’s time were more obedient to the pope.