In saying "I have never been a right-winger" in the same interview in which he's criticizing the church for being too "obsessed" with gay marriage and abortion, Francis is hitting at those Catholic leaders who use gay rights and abortion to wield political power, putting them on notice.
Our most recent trip to Italy included a stop in Rome where we had a day planned to take in the Eternal City's most treasured sites. And we spent way too much time distracted by the somewhat odd souvenir tributes to the new Pope.
Heaping plates of light-as-air pasta. Art by Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bernini. Some of the most entertaining people-watching on the planet. Rome is a city like no other. Here are some can't-miss tips for making yourself at home in the Eternal City.
When Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis, many Roman Catholics were quick to optimism. Some dared to hope for something of a church renaissance, and for relief, perhaps, in the wake of the bitter reign of "God's Rottweiler," Joseph Ratzinger.
Anyone considering the news that the current pope, Francis I, has approved John Paul II for sainthood, should also consider that more than anyone, John Paul II had access to information about the full scope of the abuse problem and the greatest power to address it.
Fraud investigator Harry Markopolos is not a nice guy. He would not give up in his lone pursuit of Bernie Madoff, even when the SEC told him to back off. Wendy Davis wasn't nice when she filibustered for 13 hours to block the passage of a strict anti-abortion bill in Texas.
One Catholic has been moved to do something about the Vatican's unpleasant facts. He's Pope Francis I, the first Jesuit to rule in the Vatican, and he's in the process of afflicting the comfortable. Life is imitating art.