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From very good NRO piece by George Weigel about Pope Francis:

A pope in defense of human rights and democracy. Pope Francis has left behind an Argentina in which he was a stern critic of the Cristina Kirchner government’s deepening of that beautiful country’s democracy deficit, and of Madam President’s commitment to a public policy of bread-and-circuses wedded to legally enforced lifestyle libertinism — what Benedict XVI aptly called the “dictatorship of relativism.” At a moment when the momentum of the democratic project in Latin America is flagging (while new opportunities are opening up in places like post-ChÁvez Venezuela and the inevitable post-Castro-brothers Cuba), the new pope should be able to rally Catholic forces in defense of religious freedom and other civil liberties in a continent where they are now under assault. And if he can do that at home, he can do it throughout the world.

Pope Francis is also deeply committed to the Church’s service to and empowerment of the poor, as he made unmistakably clear in his ministry in Buenos Aires. But those Gospel-based commitments should not lead anyone to think that he will be Paul Krugman in a white cassock. That seems very unlikely. …

The first Jesuit pope? Well, yes, in a manner of speaking. Bergoglio is an old-school Jesuit, formed by classic Ignatian spirituality and deeply committed to an intelligent, sophisticated appropriation and proclamation of the full symphony of Catholic truth — qualities not notable for their prevalence among many members of the Society of Jesus in the early 21st century. I suspect there were not all that many champagne corks flying last night in those Jesuit residences throughout the world where the Catholic Revolution That Never Was is still regarded as the ecclesiastical holy grail. For the shrewder of the new pope’s Jesuit brothers know full well that that dream was just dealt another severe blow. And they perhaps fear that this pope, knowing the Society of Jesus and its contemporary confusions and corruptions as he does, just might take in hand the reform of the Jesuits that was one of the signal failures of the pontificate of John Paul II.

There will be endless readings of the tea leaves in the days ahead as the new pope, by word and gesture, offers certain signals as to his intentions and his program. But the essentials are already known. This is a keenly intelligent, deeply holy, humble, and shrewd man of the Gospel. He knows that he has been elected as a reformer, and the reforms he will implement are the reforms that will advance the New Evangelization. The rest is detail: important detail, to be sure, but still detail.

Read the entire piece, "The First American Pope".

 
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Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight.
 
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