Modern media, especially the modern Catholic media, has brought the pope into our homes, across the radio, in television, and into our niche media world. He's in the browser of many Catholics every day. And conservative Catholic media relies heavily on the inflated imaginative role of the papacy, just like British tabloids rely on the royals. The pageantry, mystery, and fame attached to the office are a great way of selling magazines, getting clicks, or raising funds. He is the worldwide celebrity that represents "us." He's the reason the Faith gets talked about by others.
From Michael Brendan Dougherty's article link
Good point. Up until recently, few followed the pope. Now, every move and word is analyzed.
Yes - every word - because the crazy cacophony of individual interests are looking for any opening, any possibility to gain a foothold against the traditional stand of the Catholic Church.
We have crazed and militant homosexuals, we have diehard abortionists, we have arch-feminists and all sorts of other outliers staring at every word to see if they can make inroads against one of the last bastions of Christian religious normalcy remaining.
Look what happened to the Lutherans, the Anglicans, the Methodists and so many others when they allowed even a toehold by these groups. This world is hurtling towards the toilet at supersonic speed and there are only a few faiths holding on by their fingertips.
Really excellent point. As a kid, the Pope barely registered in Catholic school.
Interesting article. However, I think she confuses the processes of evaluating historical impact and determining personal holiness. The former definitely requires the passage of time, and it never really reaches a resolution. Historians are still debating Alexander the Great.
On the other hand, the Church is uniquely qualified to rule on individual sanctity, and her criteria are very different from those used in analyzing a historical figure.
Up until recently, few followed the pope. Now, every move and word is analyzed.