Meet The New Boss

"You've got to be joking. THIS is the biggest book we have? We need a way bigger book than this!"

UPDATE 1.18.15 - I no longer stand by the comments in this update. After nearly two years Pope Francis has made it clear that I was too quick to judge - while his previous comments about homosexuality still erred on the side of dickish, his humility, his words on the environment, and his focus on income inequality have really impressed me. Count me as Team Pope. 

I like to think that the real reason Pope Benedict resigned wasn’t exhaustion, health concerns, or the fact that the people he worked with were a bunch of dicks – I like to think that he’s just experiencing a belated midlife crisis. Now that he’s quit his old job he’s going to ditch the Popemobile for a cheap muscle car and start smoking weed and pumping iron in his garage. Vatican Beauty, we’ll call it.

No matter the reason for his departure, I was really happy to see the old Pope go, because he was a real piece of shit. In the wake of his departure I had hoped that the Vatican, much like the Republican Party, would try to update its image and message by choosing a Pope who’s more in touch with the 21st century. Much like the Republican Party, they disappointed me by trotting out some Latino dude with a raft of backward ideologies. (Hopefully Pope Francis hydrates better before his first blessing.)

I guess what we learned here today is that if you expect a hypertraditional, conservative 1600 year old organization to throw you for a loop, you’re gonna have a bad time.

I’m well aware that Pope Francis has done some good things in his life. He’s said a lot on behalf of the poor, and depending on who you talk to he helped a lot of people escape from Argentina’s military junta* back in the day. On top of that, he’s the first Jesuit pope, and from what I hear on the Internet, Jesuits are pretty big on knowledge and education, which also is a good thing.

*Depending on who you talk to, he also helped a lot of people get kidnapped by Argentina’s military junta. Until there’s more conclusive proof, though, my mostly-forgotten training as a journalist compels me to give him the benefit of the doubt.  

But he also called the prospect of gay people getting married, “…a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God,” and I’ve got to say, fuck you if you think that. I try very hard to empathize with people whose opinions I don’t agree with, but I find homophobia truly disgusting and offensive, particularly when it’s coming from someone who’s devoted his life to an organization that claims to represent charity and love.

To be fair, he’s said that homosexuals should be treated with respect and compassion, but last time I checked, it’s not terribly respectful or compassionate to declare that two people who love each other getting married is an evil Satanic conspiracy.

I really don’t think we should just run around declaring things Satanic conspiracies all willy nilly. That’s a pretty hefty charge. I mean, if you want to call something a Satanic conspiracy, go ahead, but at least reserve the term for things that are actually sort of evil, like wars and social injustice. Or child molestation. Or an organization that systematically covers up child molestation and shelters child molesters and knowingly places them in situations where they can have contact with children, thereby facilitating further molestation, and goes to great lengths to discredit victims of molestation who have come forward. I think stuff like that is way more evil than Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres.

Long story short, fuck you Pope Francis, you crusty old bigot. I’m sorry to be so tough on you on your first day on the job, but I was going to say this about you sooner or later and I’d rather just get it out of the way now.

I’ve always been surrounded by Catholics. My parents’ best friends (and my godparents) are Catholic, and they’ve been a source of constant joy (and occasional noogies) for essentially my entire life. One of my close friends in high school was Catholic, and she and her family had no problem inviting into their home a 16-year-old outspoken atheist jackass who had a lot of well rehearsed liberal talking points about the War in Iraq and various gay marriage debates. The family of one of my Catholic friends from college has let me stay with them in Sacramento multiple times on my road trips from Portland to LA – and once, when they found out they wouldn’t be in town when I came through, offered me the keys to their house so I’d have a place to stay.

Some of the most wonderful, caring, outgoing people I’ve had the pleasure to meet have been Catholics. I’ve never once heard one of these Catholics make some derisive comment about the notion of two guys who love each other getting married, or lament the fact that there are women out there taking birth control pills. The Catholics I know don’t really care about that stuff, because it has very little to do with whether you’re a good person or not, and it has even less to do with their personal relationship with God.

The Pope may have spent his entire life studying Catholicism, but I think he could learn an awful lot about the religion from the Catholics I know.

Truman Capps wants to sneak into the Vatican with a suitcase full of gay porn and hide it all over the place.