Grits and Tamales

Life in the Deep South, by Gabriel Aguilera

Pope Francis

Papa Francis

“Who am I to judge?” -Pope Francis

It is by now clear that Pope Francis would like to see the Catholic Church become a Christian organization. These days it is too bureaucratic, self-regarding, and, frankly, corrupt and abusive.

His efforts are being poo poo’d by critics and cynics, who see it as either as phony or Quixotic. I’m with the latter because I believe in my heart that being Quixotic can yield purpose and meaning together with much mischief and change. Outside of the Gospels, what better story exists about someone being born again than Don Quixote?

I hope our Papa makes progress. The Church will change course only slowly and with great difficulty. Papa Francis strikes me to be a bold man. Hopefully he is as pragmatic and ruthless as he is brave.

He should keep Machiavelli’s admonition in mind to those who attempt to revamp institutions.

“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.”

The Papa is as Quixotic as he is Christian. Even cynics should cheer him on as he seeks reform, tolerance, and a return to the ideals of Christianity as he seeks his own cross.


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