Historically, the world has wound up with some pretty terrible popes: Paul IV (a vicious anti-semite), Sixtus IV (like more than a few popes, a sex maniac), Leo X (the guy who came up with the idea to fleece the flock through indulgences), Boniface VIII, Dante's enemy (compared sex with children to "rubbing one hand against the other," and we all know where that led the Church)...
When I was born Pius XII, who claimed papal infallibility and was a little too friendly with the Nazis, was still pope. He gave people my age a terrible vision of the papacy. He was followed by John XXIII who was well-liked and a peace guy but who only lasted 4 years. The came Paul VI, a rotten anti-Choice fanatic, followed by John Paul I, who had a lot of promise but was murdered after one month, followed by John Paul II (the Polish Pope) who was pope for a long time (26 years) and was pretty well-liked. He was followed by Benedict XVI (Ratzinger), a Nazi pope who lasted almost 8 years before becoming too senile to be pope and retiring; I think he's still alive-- real bad guy, but his retirement, led to Pope Francis, the best pope in my lifetime.
Francis, who is 84, was elected in March, 2013. The fascists in the church hate him and he is loved all over the world by the downtrodden and hopeful. Over the course of the last two days, his Twitter feed looks like he could have written an anti-trust guest post for DWT. Let me put his tweets in a kind of narrative form if you don't follow him.
"We must adapt our socio-economic models so they have a human face, because many models have lost it. Thinking about these situations, in God’s name I want to ask:"
The big laboratories to liberalise patents and to carry out a gesture of humanity and allow every human being access to the vaccine.
Financial groups and international credit institutions to guarantee poor countries the basic needs of their people and to waive those debts so often contracted against the interests of those same peoples.
The large mining, oil, forestry, real estate, agribusiness companies to stop destroying nature, to stop polluting, to stop intoxicating people and food.
The big food corporations to stop imposing monopolistic production and distribution structures that inflate prices and end up withholding bread from the hungry.
Arms manufacturers and dealers to totally cease their activity, that foments violence and war, often in the context of geopolitical games that costs millions of lives and displaces many people.
Technology giants to stop preying on human weakness, people’s vulnerability, in order to make a profit.
The telecommunications giants to liberalise access to educational material and exchange with teachers via the internet so that poor children can be educated even under quarantine.
That the media put an end to the logic of post-truth, disinformation, defamation, slander and that sick attraction for scandal and that they seek to contribute to human fraternity.
Powerful countries to stop aggression, blockades and unilateral sanctions against any country anywhere on earth and that conflicts be resolved in multilateral fora such as the United Nations.
That governments and all politicians work for the common good. Let them beware of listening only to the economic elite; may they be servants of those people who ask for land, shelter and work and a good life in harmony with all humanity and creation.
All of us religious leaders, that we never use God’s name to foment wars. Let us stand by our people, the workers, the humble, and fight together with them so that integral human development may become a reality. Let us build bridges of love.
Maybe Pelosi's visit with him last week made an impression on him. I certainly hope it made an impression on her! He followed that up all those tweets from yesterday with this one this morning: