My priest this morning, during his homily, referenced ABC 20/20's airing Friday night of Pope Francis and The People and I was moved by his words, so moved in fact that I made the decision to watch the show for myself as soon as I could. I finished doing so just moments ago.
It was all that Father Mike had portrayed it to be and more. You should set out to watch it yourself. It'll enhance the faith of the faithful and should give food for thought to those who might consider themselves something other than faithful.
What I can't comprehend is the kind of strident reaction my Wizbang colleague Warner Todd Huston had to a particular part of the show:
During a broadcast hosted by ABC News, Pope Francis went out of his way to praise Sister Norma Pimentel, an activist nun from Texas who is making a name for herself working on behalf of people who break our laws.
During a “townhall” styled meeting the pope singled the nun out before the crowd.
“I want to thank you,” Francis said. “And through you to thank all the sisters of religious orders in the U.S. for the work that you have done and that you do in the United States. It’s great. I congratulate you. Be courageous. Move forward.
And then the pope, 78, said something she could never have imagined: “I’ll tell you one other thing. Is it inappropriate for the Pope to say this? I love you all very much.“
ABC and multiple other news outlets presented this little scene as if the Pope just somehow happened to spot Pimentel on a TV monitor “hiding” in the crowd and that it was all a big, heartwarming surprise. But, it is obvious that this was an orchestrated event and not spontaneous at all. Francis set this up ahead of time in order to give the USA another jab in the ribs, something he has become well known for at this point.
If you've not watched the referenced segment on 20/20, you might be excused for the kind of attitude and cynicism on display here but, if you did indeed watch it and you continue to be this disdainful, it's an indication of a hardness of heart that Christ alone will have to pierce. To suggest that the Pope's singling out of this nun during the virtual audience was anything but spontaneous is to have watched a show I didn't see and seemingly, to make things up out of whole cloth. It's a baseless and shameful charge.
But no more baseless and shameful than Huston's attack against this faithful nun merely carrying out her vocation faithfully, lovingly and diligently.
Mr. Huston, and the stone-hearted who applaud his thinking, have indicted her because she dared to see Christ in the least of these, she dared to assist those fleeing their homelands and the infestation of gangs and violence therein, she dared to set aside politics, she dared to see their humanity, she dared to be Christ to them.
In other words, this nun acted out her faith, acted like her savior Jesus Christ, and in that acting, committed the cardinal sin of offending Huston's idol, political ideology. How dare she? Who does she think she is?
But wait, there's more that offended Mr. Huston's sensibilities, more that upset his applecart of ideological idolatry.
Mr. Huston was deeply offended by the Pope's plan to use his native tongue at the Mass to be held in DC during his U.S. visit later this month:
"... in order to scold the U.S.A. over its already too generous immigration policies, Francis is purposefully giving a Mass in Spanish despite that less than 15 percent of the United States even speaks the language.
Next Francis has decided to rub America’s nose in its immigration problems by giving his Papal Mass in Washington in Spanish instead of English.
This is a purely political move, one meant as a slam on one of the most generous nations on the planet, one that already ranks number one in the world in the sheer number of legal immigrants is allows in, not to mention illegal ones.
Certainly there is good reason for a religious leader to speak up in the USA–what with the Obama administration’s campaign to put an end to religious liberty and to destroy Christianity–but what is the red pope doing? He’s attacking Americans for wanting to have some control over their own immigration policy and essentially calling the whole country a bunch of racists.
Instead of being a religious leader, this pope is using his position to play anti-American politics.
This pope is a disaster."
By speaking Spanish, the man's native tongue, the Pope according to Huston is rubbing America's nose in its immigration policies, scolding the U.S.A., slamming America, attacking America, calling Americans racists and playing anti-American political games.
By. Speaking. Spanish.
His. Native. Tongue.
With all due respect to Mr. Huston and those who find his writing fruitful and productive, his thinking on this is banal and infantile, beyond comprehension for those who think rationally.
To read the sort of mindlessness referenced into the circumstance of a nun living out her faith and the rather natural act of a Pope speaking in his native tongue, is to stretch the limits of credulity.
I think we're better than this.
Fellow conservatives, aren't we better than this?
Crossposted at Wizbang.
UPDATE: Found this relevant graphic yesterday...