At the end of a recent homily, new pastor Dan Hartnett, S.J., of Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel explains what he “likes” about Pope Francis:

– I like the fact that the Cardinals chose a man who, as archbishop of Argentina put aside the hierarchical trapping of residence and retinue to live simply;
‐ I like the fact that the new pope took the name of Francis, making it clear that he intends not to be a monarch but a servant who will “rebuild the church”;
‐ I like the fact that, after being named cardinal, he went back to the hotel on the bus with his colleagues;
– I like the fact that he asked the delegation from Argentina that was planning to travel to Rome: cancel the trip, save the money and give it to the poor;
‐ I like the fact that in his opening homily he challenged the cardinals to “keep their feet on the ground” and their “eyes and ears on the poor”;
‐ I like the fact that he is a Jesuit who received the same formation, who has made the Spiritual Exercises, a brother.

I suppose there’s nothing wrong with any of that, but aside from the mention of the Spiritual Exercises, it reads like, “What I gleaned about Pope Francis from the New York Times.” Here’s what he might have also said:

– I like the fact that the new pope is a stalwart defender of the unborn;
– I like the fact that he took a popular demagogue-president to task over her support for homosexual “marriage”;
– I like the fact that he mentioned the Devil twice in his first two addresses as Pope;
– I like the fact that he places Jesus Christ at the center of his preaching;
– I like the fact that he echoed his predecessor in warning affluent societies to be wary of a “dictatorship of relativism.”

That last “like” came after Fr. Hartnett’s homily, but I hope you get my point; there’s more to Pope Francis and the papacy than humility and social ethics.

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