A “crisis of faith,” to a person of principle, is like having your super-ego try to arm-wrestle an id that, with uncharacteristic forethought, has slathered itself in axle grease: You absolutely know how you should, and how you want, to feel about something, and you try to wrench the feeling into place. Inexplicably, it’s not there.
I am having a crisis of faith.
I really want to dislike this pope. I also really want to disapprove of Colorado’s drone-hunters. And my inability to do either is bothering me.
Let’s start with the pope. Could he please stop being so amiable?
The papacy’s incongruent wealth, complacency on abuse cases, and policies on homosexuality remains; Cardinal Law still lives out his cushy retirement; the AIDS battle awaits a helpful, clearer declaration on condoms; and Pope Francis seems oddly enthusiastic about the canonizations of two predecessors with less than pristine records. And as many other people have already pointed out, he is probably being praised out of proportion to his actual reforms.
Yet my studiously maintained suspicion has been under constant assault since his election. It was bad enough when the first photos in March showed him rejecting that ridiculous footstool and making a statement by standing on the same level as the cardinals.
This person’s reasons for hating the Pope are mostly ignorant or stupid or both*, and yet it is better to hate someone honestly than to base your views on right and wrong based on whether you find someone charming.
*The Pope’s wealth belongs to the office, not to him. To say that the Vatican should not own beautiful things is to say that God is not worth it.
The policies on homosexuality, the beliefs on condoms – it remains unclear to me why anyone should think the Catholic Pope would be obligated to preference humanist beliefs over Catholic ones.