Pope Francis, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio walk into a bar...
One of the first official acts of the newly installed Pope Francis was to reach out to the Jewish community of Rome, as his predecessor Pope Benedict had done, and he is being greeted warmly by many Jewish leaders worldwide. For most of the last 1,500 years, though, Catholic-Jewish relations have not been so warm. In fact, there was a time when the Catholic Church was rocked with a scandal: It was alleged that the Pope himself was Jewish.
Rome -- "May God forgive you." That's Cardinal Timothy Dolan's translation of a joke that Pope Francis told the College of Cardinals a day after being elected the 267th pontiff.
Habemus Papam! We have a pope! That was the word, or rather the words, from St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday, and it wasn't just a worldwide church that had awaited the news, but the world itself. And the news was good, as in the Good News. For suddenly the air in Rome and far beyond seemed filled with a hope that was almost palpable.
In an era when almost every mention of religion is in a negative connotation - one religion against another, one sect against another, religious influence on secular life, and so on - it was soothing, really, to see the amount of time at least the American cable networks devoted to the choosing of the leader of one.
My favorite talk show host is John Batchelor, whose often expressed, playful worry is that he isn't being cynical enough. The wisest (or is it the most cynical?) among us recognize that a degree of caution is always advisable when dealing with fellow human beings, and that the world has never lacked for frauds, liars, and hypocrites.
"The Faith is Europe. And Europe is the Faith," wrote Hilaire Belloc after that bloodbath we call World War I. "Either Europe will return to the Faith or she will perish."
“Anyone who tells you they aren’t surprised is lying.” That is what then Congressman Chris Cox told me on the KCET television set on election night 1994 when the GOP, led by Newt Gingrich, seized the House majority.
In choosing Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to become its next pope, the Catholic Church offers those of us who are a part of its membership, and the rest of the world as well, the hope of a spiritual leader who can rekindle the common touch for which Pope John Paul II was so beloved -- and perhaps rid the Church of its reputation for loving the material of this world as much, if not more, than the spiritual.
By the time you read this, the world’s billion-plus Roman Catholics may have a new pope. And when the black smoke of Tuesday’s indecisive first vote has turned to the white smoke of final decision, don’t be surprised if the cardinals have chosen… a Catholic pope.
White House Confirms James Foley Execution as First ISIS Attack on The United States | Katie Pavlich