RELIGION
11/10/2014 02:42 pm ET Updated Nov 10, 2014

Jesus and the Modern Man

PEDRO ARMESTRE via Getty Images

SOMETIMES, when I kneel alone in a pew in the far back shadows of a church, face buried in my hands, a forbidden thought intrudes: You should have left all this behind a long time ago. The joyful new pope has quickened the affection even of the disaffected, including me, but, oddly, I sense the coming of a strange reversal in the Francis effect. The more universal the appeal of his spacious witness, the more cramped and afraid most of his colleagues in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church have come to seem.

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