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Thursday, March 14, 2013 A New Pope
I don't know anything about the new occupant that you all don't know, so I'll forego any insight on that part of it. But a few thoughts from the reactions:
* Can we please retire the phrase "the Global South" when talking about Christianity, or really anything else? It's a demeaning and useless concept. Bergoglio's parents were from Italy, his homeland has already reached Peak Catholicism, and to boot it was one of the richest countries in the world a century ago. This is not a knock on him or on Argentina. But what his country has in common with, say, the Central African Republic and Malaysia is not at all obvious. One gets tired of hearing about "vital," "vibrant," "real" Christianity, most often in Africa but often throughout "the Global South." It's not meant to be insulting, but it should be obvious that it is.
* Wow, Tridentine-obsessed Catholics are a bunch of sore-headed losers. I get that people love their peculiar aesthetic and cultural experiences--I move among the people of the four-part chorale--but the historical and geographical contingency of it should not be so hard to grasp. It's another data point, were more needed, that claims of foundational authority, infallibility, and the like tend to be useful just so far as they confirm what we conclude by other means. "We affirm our loyalty to the Pontiff, but he's obviously going to suck" is not a coherent sentiment.
* Any hope that thinly-sourced tales of perfidy or heroism would be chased down a bit before being published was quickly dashed. We already have conflicted and, as far as I've seen, unsubstantiated reports of Bergoglio's actions during the "dirty war." It's probably best to reserve judgment on any of that until more is known, if it ever is.
posted by Benjamin Dueholm | 12:30 AM
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