Er paven katolsk?

Mercatornet stiller dette spørsmålet, og svarer bekreftende (selvsagt). Samtidig skriver de at pave Frans ikke ønslet å gå så direkte inn i den amerikanske debatten, som også preges ganske mye av svart-hvitt argumenter. Slik skriver de bl.a.:

… although the Pope’s opposition was crystal clear, he still declined to anathematize abortionists and “marriage equality” during his recent trip. Instead, in a speech before a joint sitting of Congress, he took aim at the death penalty, global poverty, the international arms trade and responsibility for the environment.

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, who often speaks for “conservative” Catholics, felt betrayed. Pope Francis, he wrote, “has been a gift to liberals who are also Christians, to religious believers whose politics lean left”. It remains to be seen, he concludes, “whether, after the cheering ends, the same winter that enveloped liberal Protestantism after the 1960s will claim Franciscan Catholicism as well.”

This just about hits the gong on the grouch scale and, I think, is almost entirely unwarranted. Let me explain.

Although it is hardly unique to Americans, they are particularly susceptible to dividing the world between good and evil, between liberals and conservatives, between friends of America and its foes. Having clearly defined enemies makes the world easier to understand and easier to grapple with.

Its corollary is the rhetoric of denunciation. The killer argument is knock-out punch which sends an opponent to the canvas. It wins the applause of your friends – even if it fails to persuade your enemies.

But Pope Francis is committed to a different kind of rhetoric. It’s not overly simplistic to say that he is trying to win souls, not arguments. …

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