This post originally appeared on 12th December, 2013 under the title " PERSONALISING THE PAPACY"

"PRAVDA" and "IZVESTIA" were the two newspapers of the former Soviet Union. Their names meant "TRUTH" and "NEWS" respectively and wags used to say that there was no news in the "TRUTH" and no truth in the "NEWS"!

Well, for some time I have come to regard the Australian Broadcasting Corporation with something of the same scepticism. Its own policy agenda, be it homosexual, climate change/global warming,Buddhist,Anti Catholic, feminist etc has gradually infected its News and its ability to publish the truth.

But this morning on Radio National, I heard  a comment which instantly struck me as very perceptive and true! Of course it did not come from an ABC staffer, but from a U.K. correspondent who was being questioned on the subject of Pope Francis' selection as TIME Magazine's Man of the Year.

In the course of his comments this fellow, whose name I did not catch stated that Pope Francis " has personalised the Papacy".

And that about sums it up! In fact once it is realised the pattern simply screams : 

No I won't wear the Mozzetta,
No  I won't wear the Red Shoes,
No I won't wear the finest Vestments,
No I won't live in the Papal Apartments,
No I won't celebrate my daily Mass in the Papal Chapel,
No I won't refrain from delivering "off the cuff" homilies,
No I won't refrain from kneeling &sitting in the back row of Casa Santa   Marta's Chapel - until I decide to kneel & sit half way up the nave.
No I won't ride in the donated ,secure Papal Limo until a a few days later,
No I won't refrain from giving unrecorded interviews - until they go horribly wrong,
No I won't refrain from making loosely worded statements that cause confusion and concern
No I won't refrain from getting into "Selfie" Photos or wearing a Red Nose or wearing a funny hat for a stunt

In short : " I gotta be ME!" 

Now, before we get too carried away, every Pope will inevitably be Pope in a slightly different way, but yet, for centuries we have been blessed with wise, prudent , holy and humble Popes who have very largely adapted themselves to the mould long established. But not one has gone so far in the process of, yes, personalising the Papacy.

Is this fitting and appropriate? Let us refrain from judgement, observe the spectacle and see where it ends up. 

As for the cover of TIME magazine it signifies nothing but being sensation worthy having last been given over to the great abortion advocate Barack Obama. 


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