God’s Vicar

The Pope’s visit to America, his words to Congress, his moving speech at St. Pat’s, his very presence has disturbed, uplifted, and convicted many. He speaks in terms of endearment laced with a scold. Along with George Will’s opinion, I think he seems to not grasp that he is in the land of the blessed, that very nation whose largesse is unparalleled in history. He appears to lack understanding of the American compunction to share at levels unknown in other lands. Is that because we have so much more to share? Yes. It is also because Americans, even the most penurious, are driven with passion and pity to share. Consider where the third world would be if we stopped our giving. Does the man in the white dress not know the universally aware understand and seek out the giving of the churches of America?

The Holy Father is quite the scold, but he seems to lack facts. His words are not mitigated by the gloss-over of platitudes about generosity. Does he speak with forked tongue? My sense is that he is merely uninformed. So, whence come his opinions, based on what?

Where did he leave his words on abortion? Talk to me about the value of life but don’t address the taking of it in this way? Is he a coward? He’ll be here  a while longer, and I pray constantly for his safety. He is anathema to some other religions. He is worthy and vulnerable. And a bit naïve. I’m not impressed by his choosing to wear ordinary black shoes, instead of the papal red. That is hardly even a token protest against his sensibilities, even embarrassment at the monetary position of the Holy See. It’s a gesture, empty at best.

I believe he is sincere, gentle, kind, and happy in his work. How he sees his work remains a question in my mind. The most generous nation in all of recorded history is taken to the woodshed for not doing enough is laughable. Perhaps he will leave us better informed as to who we are, what we care about, what we share, why we lead, and more, why it is that half the world is trying to get through the door to our generosity. One only hopes that the burgeoning masses bring something of themselves to contribute once they have their feet under them. Then, my mantra will be, and always has been, put your oar in the water and row! How else will the crowded boat ever move forward?

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