Thursday, December 26, 2013
BLAH AND DRAB OR REGAL AND BLING? DOES IT HAVE TO BE EITHER/OR RATHER THAN BOTH/AND
Another way of describing this would be the dichotomy between low church/high church Anglicanism for better or worse. Certainly from the populist perspective Francis’ more down to earth style, tastes and lifestyle speaks to our casual popular culture. His style could be the Catholic "dressed down" version of popular Protestant evangelists preaching from a stool in jeans and open collar shirt or a tee shirt with some kind of slogan on it.
Another metaphor to describe Pope Francis appeal is the dichotomy between the pianist and the motorcyclist and those one normally associates with being more artistic or more athletic. One is less macho and one is more macho and I think this pope is of the macho heritage of his South American culture rather than the artsy culture of Bavaria! And of course the artsy and athletic metaphors also bespeak of sexuality issues for many, either positive or prejudicial.
At any rate, from the populist point of view, it seems that the masses (no pun intended) are flocking to see this more down-to-earth pope in Pope Francis compared to Pope Benedict who had big crowds but not like Pope Francis.
And it isn't just how Pope Francis dresses that seems to attract so many more people, especially those who are not "artsy" but how he speaks, even with imprecise, confusing messages. But one thing is very clear, the love of God for sinners. This is very attractive to a world which needs to know about their need for Mercy and God's willingness to offer it in Jesus Christ.