The New Pope’s Skillful Manuver.

What is the church, an institution of official dogma or one dominated by the preferrences of lay members who get their impressions of what the church stands for from who knows where?

Survival of both  seem important to the future of denominations.  Purists have a need to believe the Church does not change.  But, the Church must be seen by its members and the public as a relevant institution adjusting to changing social mores.

This Pope, either by intent or accident, is presenting us with a laboratory for how to keep both in tow.

The link is typical of articles that appear almost daily.  They insist over and over again the dogma of the church has not changed.  The Pope, it seems, wants Church membership and the public to think otherwise.

We have to remember Pope Francis was runner up when Benedick was chosen.  Francis sat out the Benedict years presenting himself as a social conservative, supporting the prevailing views of gay marriage, abortion and no women in the clergy.  There were no public statements disagreeing with Benedict.

When a new Pope was to be chosen, there sat the good soldier Francis with big chips to play.  The massive Catholic numbers in South America eeded bolstering.  A new Pope could not have child molestation baggage.  “I”ve got you in a box,” he must have said to the Cardinals.

Experienced as he was in presenting two faces, he just continued.  He presents one face the Church doesn’t change, another that it does.

17 Responses

  1. If Pope Francis’ goal is to revitalize an organization that has lost its relevance, he’s right on track. I’m almost ready to convert to Catholocism.

      1. entech

        “Interesting to watch it all unfold”, what will be interesting will be to see which and how many eminence grises, or whatever colour they hide behind, appear to change his mind for him.

        They say that Galileo was actually quite friendly with the Pope of the day, that his ideas were quite acceptable. This was not too long after Luther and the protestant movement was gaining strength, the powers behind the throne could not afford to admit to being wrong in anything.

        1. entech 6:00 “..Galileo was actualy quite friendly with the Pope of the day…”

          Good point, the Galileo parralle. Officially, the Church has never admitted it was wrong. It just went on ignoring that a mistake was made and functioned under the corrected knowledge. I can see the same thing developing with gay marriage. Perhaps it will always be considered a “sin” in the Church’s documents but will be blessed by its clergy anyway.

          1. Had to chuckle this morning, another article based on a statement from a Vatican official. The statement was to clarify that the Pope was not endorsing gay marriage. The author of the article mentioned toward the end that the official’s statement did say the Pope was not endorsing gay marriage, but did not actually clarify what the Pope’s entire views are on the subject.

            I predict he will not expand much on these views, leaving a variety of interpretations alive.


  2. Ray

    It’s a bit of a backhanded compliment to say that Pope Francis is a skillful politician. I think he is genuine in his concern for the poor, the handicapped, the marginalized, ect… and I think it’s great that people of all faiths and nonbelievers alike are paying attention.

    1. Ray 1:37 Thanks for the comment. I agree he may well have a genuine concern for the marginalized. In fact, by practicing skilled politics, allowing different groups to believe they are the ones winning the battle, he may see the poor benefiting ultimately. I myself, having been in politics most of my adult life do not think practicing politics is necessarily a bad thing. It’s how good things come to be.

  3. H.P.Drifter

    This kind of man is the most dangerous kind, he talks out of both sides of his mouth, on one hand he gives the poor and liberals hope that things will get better for them, on the the other hand he tells the conservatives, in the church nothing is going to change, things will remain the same. The same thing all the politicians do and doing so under the cloak of sincerity as pope. The only thing this is going to do is polarize both sides and in the end or the end of his legacy. The situation will be come more volatile than it as ever been before.

    History has not been kind to people who tell a certain group of people one thing on one side and another group of people something different on the other. This could be in my opinion, could well be the beginning of the end for the Catholic Church as we know it. Clever or false sincerity is what we are hearing, great actor no substance, he can play any part. You can fool some of the people all the time, you can not fool all the people all the time.
    Doing this under the cloak of faith, he is playing the most dangerous game of all, he is screwing with people minds and emotions. He might as well take away their food, same results.


    1. H. P. D. 2:49 “History has not been kind to people who tell a certain thing … and another..something different..”

      Perhaps there are examples where you are right. But, let’s take the Bible. There are conflicting views on every subject imaginable. By being everything to everyone, it has been successful beyond anything in history. We try to point out the inconsistencies right here on this page and no one moves an inch, even though they are on opposite sides sometimes.

      I think the Pope is using the Bible as his political model. The opposite was Pope Benedict. He stayed on message, official doctrine, all the time. He is the one who most damaged the Church.

    2. Wolfy32

      Wasn’t this prophesied to be the last papacy by an earlier pope that had written a symbol down for each of the subsequent popes and this is the one that ends the papacy line according to unofficial catholic prophecies?

  4. H.P.Drifter

    Sounds to me like you would give this guy a break.

    The head of one the worst religious institutions with a bad record, ever created by man. An institution that has killed millions in the name of their Christian God. Enslaved people, tortured people, conquered people, to get them to convert. Gone to War solely to convert. Supported Despots around the world for centuries to keep the people down and out and under control. Anyway they could or can.
    Now you want to give the head of this church, a break because he seems like a nice guy. Really doesn’t sound responsible. Your creating in your mind the leap of faith that this Pope is actually going to do good, taking into consideration what these people (this religion has done in the past and that continues polices that hurt women and children and minorities as we speak) you think the tiger has changed his spots.
    No leap of faith here, when the church world wide produces facts that I and others can verify, then I can examine the facts and come to my own conclusions.


    1. H.P.D. 12:05 “Sounds to me you would give this guy a break….one of the worst religious institutions..created by man.”

      I don’t deny what you say about the history of the Catholic Church. How can I, it’s all recorded. What I’m exploring is the similarity of the Church to any political organization–changing to keep up with changing social norms. So many posters here claim the church does not change. This Pope is finding a way to change some of the most obvious ways it is out of step and therefore becoming increasingly unpopular.

      One of the ways I see this Pope affecting specific things even outside the church goes like this. Suppose there is a state-wide vote somewhere on gay marriage. The former Pope said gay marriage is against church teaching, a terrible sin and every Catholic must vote against it. Now, mostly they didn’t in Minnesota, but think of the message now. A person with a close friend who is gay might ponder like this. “I know my church officially does not approve, but the Pope also said,
      ‘Who am I to judge?’ I guess its a tie. I’ll vote for my gay friend’s marriage.”

Comments are closed.