By now I’m sure you’ve heard that we have a new Pope. He is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, form Argentina, but from now on he will be known as Pope Francis. It appears he is a doctrinaire right-winger on issues related to homosexuality, abortion and conctraception, which is no surprise. Andrew Sullivan provides other reasons for concern. On the other hand, he does seem to have a genuine commitment to speaking out on behalf of the downtrodden. He took his name from Saint Francis, who famously took a vow of poverty. He also has a background in science, specifically chemistry, so perhaps he will end the Church’s recent flirtations with ID.
There’s no need to speculate. We’ll know soon enough from his actions what kind of Pope he will be. But there is one thing about the coverage of the new Pope that drives me crazy. Virtually every news outlet ha emphasized the extreme humility of the man. He is such a humble leader, we are told. Here’s a representative example.
Let us recall that with his new position comes the ability to speak infallibly, at least some of the time. It is part of the job description that he is closer to God than the rest of us, and has unique authority to hold forth on the will of God. It is the teaching of his Church that they, and they alone, are qualified to interpret scripture. You place your eternal soul in jeopardy by rejecting their moral teachings. I could go on.
Humble people do not accept such positions. Quite the contrary, in fact. It is only the most arrogant of men who speak with the Church’s level of certainty. The new Pope may be many things, but humble definitely is not one of them.