A recent global poll by an international internet-based market research firm shows admiration for Francis in a stark decline. Now, I know what you’re saying, doesn’t ‘international internet-based market research firm’ reek of lonely guy who lives in his parents Florida basement and relies on his lone Canadian doppelganger to validate the contention of ‘international’? Maybe. Ok, yes, but still, these are the same folks who championed him at the onset.
The pontiff’s fall from grace was the starkest, falling from 6th to 13th. Hammering his way into the 6 hole is Vladimir Putin, who likely is filly enjoying he fruits from countless shirtless photos. Francis is also not Argentine’s favorite son, reserving that superlative for soccer savant, Lionel Messi. He also is no longer the leader in the spiritual clubhouse, either – losing out to the Dali Lama.
I don’t want to belabor the point because I know what you’re thinking – “here he goes with this Pell talk again”, but that’s not it. Just kidding, it is. The selfie pope has chartered his course towards being just another empty cassock. We all knew the Catholic Church had an image problem, and Uncle Benny’s sternness emoted the rear-view appearance the church was trying to navigate away from and Francis’ all welcoming, seemingly constant smile was the dashboard. He didn’t disappoint, either; he hit the ground running – took countless photos, uh, I mean, selfies. He offered, ‘Who am I to judge?’. Things were looking up.
The problem is; the church has a problem, and until the church handles it with satisfaction, all the bluster is no more than puffery. George Pell is the poster for an indignant church. Pell offered testimony that was damning to both him and the church and the church, given the fastball down the middle, watched it go by, and this did not go unnoticed. At some point, we are all called to the carpet and Francis might be realizing that while all the hokey things he brings table are endearing, Catholics have an expectancy of action and coming on the heels of ‘Spotlight’, Francis was expected to execute his no tolerance pledge. If Francis is looking to not be surpassed next year by Donald Trump, who came in at 18 this year, he had better do the job in which he was brought there to do.
Peace be with you.
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