With friends like these …
March 16, 2013 § 18 Comments
So we’ve learned a few things about our new Pope. It helps that I knew literally nothing to start with; so that has given me the opportunity to pick out some high level basics which especially shine through when both his admirers and detractors agree.
For example, we’ve learned that Pope Francis is not an economic libertarian. All the right people are screaming that he is a “socialist” or has been overly influenced by liberation theology, even though, as a prominent South American cleric, he has always overtly distanced himself from the movement. My long time readers know that I take all that to be a good thing. Real Communists and Socialists exist, of course; but when people who define the set of all non-Randians as “Socialists” start raving about you it at least shows that you have some of the right enemies.
Apparently a loud (but who knows how large, small, or representative) mob of liturgical traditionalists think the election of Pope Francis is a disaster, because (the story goes) he sabotaged the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in his own diocese in Buenos Aires. I’m not going to link to comboxes full of vitriol at our new Pope, and I don’t know what the true story is, but I’ve had to provide leadership to fairly small groups of unruly opinionated people myself. The impression the combox warriors are making on me – though of course I’m just one guy of no particular note – is that there definitely exist groups of liturgical traditionalists who need to be smacked around and kept in line, good and hard. Not that liturgical trads want my advice or anything, but this was probably a “better to be silent and thought an ass than to open your mouth and remove all doubt” moment.
I know there are lots of good liturgical trads out there with a strong devotion to the Extraordinary Form, that Benedict’s reign has been a wonderful breath of fresh air on that front, and that some trepidation about a new Pope is perfectly natural. I expect those folks wish more than anyone else that they could press a “shut up” button that works on their “friends”.