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Thanks for the pope!

Say I.

Pope Francis rides in to town
Pope Francis rides in to town

Pope Francis rides in to town

This Thanksgiving, besides a loving family and great friends, good health and a cool line of work, I’m giving thanks for Pope Francis.

A couple of days ago, on the plane back from lecturing the Eurocrats in Strassbourg on their responsibilities to workers and migrants, he was asked by a reporter from French television whether he hadn’t given voice “to a social-democratic sentiment.” He replied:

My dear, this is reductionism! I felt there that I was in a collection of insects: “This is a social-democratic insect …” No, I would say no: I don’t know if there is a social-democratic Pope or not … I don’t dare qualify myself on one side or the other. I dare to say that this comes from the Gospel: This is the message of the Gospel, a matter of the Social Doctrine of the Church. In this, concretely, and in other things – social or political – which I said, I did not detach myself from the Social Doctrine of the Church. The Social Doctrine of the Church comes from the Gospel and from the Christian Tradition. What I said – the identity of peoples – is an evangelical value, no? I say it in this sense. But you have made me laugh, thank you!

In the insectarium of world leadership, the presence of so blithe and benignant a spirit seems little short of a miracle. So to the College of Cardinals, or to the Holy Spirit, or to the Goddess Fortuna, I say: Thanks!