December 13, 2017

Amazon Catholic Bestsellers

Pope Francis boasts number 1 and number 2, although doubtless he doesn't appreciate number 1.  It’s probably not the healthiest spiritual activity, reading negative things about the Pope.  (See my blog title.)

Particularly intriguing is how much conflict he had with his parents and surrogate parent.  And his reforming of corruption in the church has gone nowhere. I wait for buyer's remorse from folks like John Allen and Austen Ivereigh.

Later reading more of the papal bio I experienced an “ah-ha” moment in reading that choosing a pope is different than choosing a CEO and that the cardinals aren’t doing a lot of research and investigations into the backgrounds of individuals. In fact, they are cut off from the world obviously.  Seems like the system ought be revamped to help prevent eschewing reason (grace builds on nature, not replacing it) by allowing them to do research. It’s a pious thing to want the decision to be wholly guided by the Holy Spirit but we fly on two wings not one, faith and reason. But I allow I could well be misguided.

Surely the lesson is that great leaders are few and far between and that no nation or church is “entitled” to a string of them. It takes divine providence combined with human wisdom.

R. Reno in First Things really surprised me recently by saying that even the status of migrants and refugees is contingent: "I predict that this papacy will be a great defender of migrants and refugees—until political pressures on the European ruling class become so great that it shifts and becomes more 'realistic,' at which point the Vatican will shift as well. What is presently denounced will be permitted; what is presently permitted will be denounced."

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