New York Timescolumnist Frank Bruni was happy about the “olive branch” extended to gays, rhapsodized over the pope’s “modesty” and “humility,” and advised President Obama to emulate him. (Modesty and humility being definitely not part of a columnist’s brief, why not urge a total stranger, the president, to remodel his character?) Even Catholics for Choice was warily hopeful. As for non-Catholics, one friend of mine summed up the feelings of many: if he really means this, she announced, I’m converting.
National Review, “Francis underscored that ‘the teaching of the Church is clear’ on issues like abortion, euthanasia, the nature of marriage, and chastity and that he is ‘a son of the Church’ who accepts those teachings as true.”
America interview, when asked about the role of women in the church, Francis first warned against “‘female machismo,’ because a woman has a different make-up than a man.” Then he went on to the Virgin Mary, who is best known for having a different makeup from any other woman who ever lived, and made some vague references to “the woman” as “essential for the church.” Woman as Other, Woman as Mother. That this humane, cultivated and, yes, modest man has so little sense of real women is the best argument yet against priestly celibacy.