This Extraordinary Pope


The Dish

I’ve just watched the actual video of Pope Francis’ airplane press conference, and it’s even more remarkable than the quotes we gleaned earlier from reporters like John Allen. What’s so striking to me is not what he said, but how he said it: the gentleness, the humor, the transparency. I find myself with tears in my eyes as I watch him. I’ve lived a long time to hear a Pope speak like that – with gentleness and openness, reasserting established dogma with sudden, sweeping exceptions that aren’t quite exceptions – except they sure sound like them.

In the written text, I was disappointed, for example, by his absurd statement that Pope John Paul II had definitively shut down the question of women priests. Firstly, no Pope has the authority to shut down a debate like that, especially one that is purely managerial and pragmatic, and not a matter of doctrine…

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