But the thrill we’ve never known
Is the thrill that’ll getcha when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone
Dr. Hook, The Cover of the Rollin’ Stone
Although it is only a pale shadow of the former influence it had in our culture, the fact that Pope Francis is on the cover of Rolling Stone does signify that he has become a hero for much of the cultural left. The story itself by Mark Binelli in the magazine is astonishingly wrong headed, even by the standard of the raw ignorance which most of the denizens of the media reveal whenever they seek to discuss Catholicism. A sample will suffice:
After the disastrous papacy of Benedict, a staunch traditionalist who looked like he should be wearing a striped shirt with knife-fingered gloves and menacing teenagers in their nightmares, Francis’ basic mastery of skills like smiling in public seemed a small miracle to the average Catholic. But he had far more radical changes in mind. By eschewing the papal palace for a modest two-room apartment, by publicly scolding church leaders for being “obsessed” with divisive social issues like gay marriage, birth control and abortion (“Who am I to judge?” Francis famously replied when asked his views on homosexual priests) and – perhaps most astonishingly of all – by devoting much of his first major written teaching to a scathing critique of unchecked free-market capitalism, the pope revealed his own obsessions to be more in line with the boss’ son.
If you really must, go here to read the rest. Binelli is writing about the head of a religion he is obviously immensely ignorant of. He views the Pope purely through a political prism, and misses the essence of Pope Francis entirely. Compare and contrast what he has written about the Pope to this statement about the Pope by Rush Limbaugh:
For him to call the church anachronistic shows he has no understanding of religion whatsoever. The church, Catholic Church, whatever church, is what it is. And if you don’t like it, it’s your role to get out, not change it. Christianity is Christianity. The various denominations are what they are. If you don’t like it, you move on. It’s not up to the church to modernize. It’s not up to the church to be dragged kicking and screaming into the real world. Yet that’s what he thinks Pope Francis is doing, and it’s not what Pope Francis doing.
Pope Francis is as rock rigid anti-abortion as any pope ever has been. The same thing on gay marriage, female priests, and all of this. But I still think, folks, that it is a wondrous thing that because of little old me, the devil incarnate, leftists who would otherwise and do otherwise revile the Catholic Church are now singing its praises. It is a beautiful thing. But that whole sound bite is proof that Piers Morgan, incompetence incarnate, hasn’t the slightest idea, slightest understanding of religion. Religion is timeless.
Pope Francis is a complex man and understanding him is not simple. However, the foremost fact about the Pope is that he is a religious figure. Everything the Pope does is motivated by his belief in the Catholic Faith. Those who do not understand that, as Mr. Binelli clearly does not, do not, and cannot, understand Pope Francis.