I have been chastising my fellow Catholics on the left for adopting a begrudging attitude towards Pope Francis, pointing out that I think it is wrong-headed to start our examination of this pontificate by creating a checklist to see if the new pope agrees with us. The process of conversion, which is at the heart of the faith, involves creating a checklist to see if we agree with the Church, right?
Well, the phenomenon is found on the right too. Check out George Weigel's latest column. He finishes: "But, as I argue in “Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church” (Basic Books), that’s precisely what orthodoxy is: the adventure of radical conversion ordered to mission. The 266th bishop of Rome would seem to agree."
This brings to mind the comment of a monsignor who worked at the Vatican nunciature when I asked him what he thought of Weigel's biography of Pope John Paul II. "At the end of the book," my acquaintance observed, "one was left with the question: Who is that man in white standing next to George Weigel?"