15 March 2013

Rope a Dope [update]

For those who can't be bothered to engage in word play, the previous post's title was a lexical meta-syllogism equivalent to today's. And today, I'm happy to report that those reporting on the ground, in Vatican City and Buenos Aires, confirm the conclusion.

"Snub of Reformers' Choice Seen Before Pope's Anointing" (the title in the dead trees version is a bit different) explains the course of events, beginning with:
The choice of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pope was so surprising, the Italian bishops sent out an e-mail congratulating the wrong man.

Dewey and Truman? Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe? A roar comes from the crowd! The forward leaning Americans and Europeans were told to go shove it.
... the Vatican-based cardinals protective of their bureaucracy snubbed the presumptive front-runner, and a favored candidate of reformers, Cardinal Angelo Scola.

Reform? More like repression.
Cardinal Scola went into the conclave with a solid block of votes, including many of the Americans and Europeans, who saw in him an Italian who was nevertheless at a distance from the intrigues of the Vatican. But it quickly became apparent this was not going to be enough, particularly given what news reports said was the opposition of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the powerful secretary of state under Benedict.

Let's not go too far, folks. Let's keep 'em poor, stupid, and breeding. And, we'll have another chance soon enough, without the pressure (most likely) of needing a Pope immediately for Easter.
Cardinal Bergoglio's age may have cut both ways, said Mr. Ingrao, the Vatican expert for Panorama. Reformers may have believed it would motivate him to act quickly, while cardinals favoring the status quo may have hoped his papacy would be too short to effect much change.

There remains the conspiracy theory that John Paul I was offed by the Vatican Mafia just because he wanted to bring the church into the modern world. Franky best watch his step, if he's been a liberal in wolf's clothing all this time.

And folks in Argentina aren't all happy with the dude.
One of the most biting reactions to Francis came in a statement from the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, the association of women whose children were disappeared during Argentina's military dictatorship, from 1976 to 1983. The group contrasted Francis, who has long been criticized for not confronting the dictatorship, with the 150 or so other priests who were killed during the so-called Dirty War.

"About this pope they named, we have only to say, 'Amen,' " Hebe de Bonafini, the group's president and a longstanding critic of the incoming pope, said in a statement steeped in irony.

That didn't take long.

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