The new Pope seems to be something of a non-conformist, though to be honest, I'm getting a bit iffy about his ostentatious poverty, if that isn't an oxymoron.
I mean, fine, eschew the Prada slippers, but not moving into the Papal Apartments? Cooking your own nosh? Come on, there are limits, and whether he likes it or not, he's a target for the nefariously-minded, so hanging out at the Vatican B&B. might not be such a brilliant idea, although it looks all humble and unpretentious.
Still, generally speaking, he seems to have the notion that it's time for the Catholic Church to get closer to the people (are you listening, there in Pieta'?) which can't be a bad idea, all in all.
I particularly liked his gesture a couple of days ago, when he washed, and then kissed, the feet of, shock horror, a female.
Whether this can be taken as a move towards the ordination of the secondary beings I really couldn't say, given that I'm not at all up to speed on the symbolism attached to Pontifex Maximus' kissing of a girl's feet, but if it is, that's a big thumbs-up from this humble quarter.
I mean, seriously, for pity's sake, why the Devil (and I choose my emphasiser with a view to giving maximum wryness to the point) shouldn't women be ordained? There was a spirited debate about the matter on the radio last week, I didn't catch the beginning of it, so I can't be too informative about the who and where.
The main speaker started out by irritating me more than somewhat by saying that it was important for women to be on board because they bring a vital perspective to things. She was talking about the way the abuse scandals were handled by the all-male Catholic hierarchy and I resented being told that it was badly handled because men handled it.
It was badly handled because idiots handled it, the fact that they were male is besides the point.
My sympathies soon swung to the speaker's side, however, when the darn stupid arguments against women being ordained started being churned out.
The one which got me completely on her side was the one which proposed the thesis that women couldn't be ordained because that would mean they would be able to take confession and "we all know how women gossip, don't we?"
It's lucky I wasn't at the debate, because I would have been moved to start calling the person who came up with this ludicrous point an utter moron and worse.
Someone different got on his high horse and expressed supercilious disappointment because the speaker had failed to give both sides of the argument. She responded, I thought brilliantly, that she was unable to give the anti-ordination side because she considered to be based on propositions that were entirely untenable.
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