It’s Francis

The new pope is Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires.  He is the first Jesuit pope ever and is of Italian descent.

He has taken the name Pope Francis (Franceso).

Between the time that the white smoke went up and they announced the new pope, I had been thinking that his mission was the same as the one that God gave St. Francis — “Rebuild my church.”

So I was both shocked and delighted to hear that his name will be Francis.  He may have chosen it because of his commitment to the poor rather than the need for repair, but whatever the reason, I take it as a hopeful sign.

When I was baptized six years ago, I took the baptismal name Francesca, the female form of St. Francis, so I’m especially pleased.

Viva il Papa!

Wednesday at the Convention

In the 10-11 EDT hour, Elizabeth Warren and Bill Clinton will speak.

Near the end of the 8-9 hour, Sister Simone Campbell from the “Nuns on the Bus” social justice movement will speak.

Near the end of the 9-10 hour, three former employees from companies controlled by Bain will speak.  One of them is named Randy Johnson, but I don’t think it’s that Randy Johnson.


Shock of the Day

Journalist Emily Yoffe has a story up on Slate called “My Molesters.”  She talks about being molested three times before she was 20 — once by a cousin, once by a friend’s father, and once by Fr. Robert Drinan, when he was serving as her congressman.

That last accusation caused my jaw to drop.  Fr. Drinan, a Jesuit priest who died in 2007, was famous for his anti-Vietnam War protests and for being the only Roman Catholic priest to serve in Congress.  He was a Massachusetts congressman in the 1970’s, until Pope John Paul II forbade priests from holding elected office in 1980, and Drinan didn’t run again.  He taught at Georgetown Law School, where he specialized in ethics and human rights.

Since, like Yoffe, I grew up in Massachusetts (she is four years younger than I am), I followed Fr. Drinan’s career very closely and always admired him.  I was dismayed to read her piece today, another tarnished hero.



The Saints Among Us Are Under Siege

From “We Are All Nuns,” Nicholas D. Kristof, NYT:

“Catholic nuns are not the prissy traditionalists of caricature.  No, nuns rock!

“They were the first feminists, earning Ph.D.’s or working as surgeons long before it was fashionable for women to hold jobs.  As managers of hospitals, schools and complex bureaucracies, they were the first female C.E.O.’s.

“They are also among the bravest, toughest and most admirable people in the world.  In my travels, I’ve seen heroic nuns defy warlords, pimps and bandits.  Even as bishops have disgraced the church by covering up the rape of children, nuns have redeemed it with their humble work on behalf of the neediest.

“So, Pope Benedict, all I can say is:  You are crazy to mess with nuns.

The Vatican issued a stinging reprimand of American nuns this month and ordered a bishop to oversee a makeover of the organization that represents 80 percent of them.  In effect, the Vatican accused the nuns of worrying too  much about the poor and not enough about abortion and gay marriage.

“What Bible did that come from?  Jesus in the Gospels repeatedly talks about poverty and social justice, yet never explicitly mentions either abortion or homosexuality.  If you look at who has more closely emulated Jesus’s life, Pope Benedict or your average nun, it’s the nun hands down.”  Emphasis added.

The Double Standard on Religion

When it was revealed that Marco Rubio had been born a Catholic, but was a Mormon from about ages 8 to 13 when his family lived in Nevada, before going back to being a Catholic again in Florida, it was a one-day, who-cares story.

President Obama lived in Indonesia with his mother and stepfather for a shorter time than Rubio was a Mormon, but during some of those same childhood years.  Yet much is made of Obama’s time there and exposure to Islam, with all this talk about it being during his formative, impressionable years.

If it’s a nothing story about Rubio and Mormonism, why is it a big deal about Obama and Islam?  That question was directed at you, Fox News.  No one says Rubio is a “secret” Mormon.

As for Rubio being Mitt’s Veep, I don’t see it as a “two Mormon” problem, I see it as a “two slick guys” problem.  Both of them are slick and smarmy by themselves.  Put them together and the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts, and you’ve got a presidential ticket oozing slickness.  You don’t want the two of them on a stage together.  Not a good vibe.


Mitt Needs Evangelical Running Mate

Some of the names being bandied for Mitt’s Veep are Catholics (Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio), but I think Mitt really needs to choose an Evangelical Protestant.

Mitt has done well among Catholics (better than Rick Santorum), and they will come out for him.  The Evangelicals won’t vote for Obama, but some of them will stay home.  Evangelicals have more of a problem with Mormons than Catholics do, so an Evangelical on the ticket would boost turnout for Mitt.  Marco Rubio sometimes attends an Evangelical church, but he is thought of as Catholic.

If Mitt can’t turn out the Evangelical base in very high numbers, he’s in very deep trouble.

Santorum Wants to Go Home

Campaigning in Wisconsin, Rick Santorum said that he’d prefer to be home in Virginia, so he could “make a little money and tend to my own garden and take care of my family and friends.”

Um, Rick, who or what is stopping you?  If you want to go garden, I’ll send you some seed packets.

Go home, before you embarrass yourself and the GOP and your fellow Catholics (who prefer to vote for a Mormon over you) any more.  The republic will survive without you.  Actually, it will do a whole lot better, since you don’t believe in separation of church and state.  That’s the real B.S., not what some NYT reporter writes about you.

Face it, Frothy, there isn’t going to be a brokered convention, and Mitt isn’t going to pick you for his Veep.  Not only has the fat lady sung, she’s gone home and is sound asleep.

Uh, Oh, What’s Santorum Going To Do Now?

As we all know, Rick Santorum is just the best little Catholic boy in the whole world.  If he does say so himself.

Now the Pope is calling for an end to the American embargo of Cuba that has been in place for 50 years.  Rick and the GOP support the embargo.

Rick has to choose between his party and his Pope.

Will Rick call for an end to the embargo?  No, he’ll just ignore this, as he does other Catholic doctrine he doesn’t like, like opposition to pre-emptive war and capital punishment.  But Catholics who ignore the birth control stuff?  You’re definitely going to Hell.