Saturday 23 September 2017

Charles Moore: A brave new world for Christians

The Pontiff takes over at a time when age-old divisions in Christianity are beginning to erode.

Charles Moore

SO far, the combined media knowledge of Pope Francis has not been impressive. We have been told that he likes travelling on public transport, that he played a controversial role among his fellow Jesuits in the years of the Argentine military dictatorships, and that he "is a conservative but cares for the poor" (that "but" tells you the politics of most ecclesiastical reportage). That's about it.

The Catholic Church is a huge global organisation and lots of cardinals come from funny, faraway places. But one feels that if Jorge Bergoglio had been an Argentine footballer rather than an archbishop, plenty of experts would have been on hand to impart useful information.

When it comes to religion, the media can be very provincial. We project on to it our Western obsessions, which are mainly sexual. We are alarmed by its breadth and its depth.

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