Esquire’s Charles Pierce is a graduate of a Jesuit university (Marquette). It’s among the many reasons he’s been a big fan of Pope Francis, the first-ever Jesuit pontiff, and it’s probably one factor in his vehement disappointment that Francis met with, and apparently encouraged, gay-marriage objector Kim Davis last week in Washington.
Pierce referred to the pope’s behavior regarding the “nutball” Davis as “a fcking [sic] blunder,” “a sin against charity,” and “the dumbest thing [he] ever has done.” He concluded, as if addressing Francis, “I will pray for you, because, damn, son, you need it.”
From Pierce’s post (bolding added):
Kim Davis, the goldbricking county clerk from Kentucky, met secretly with Papa Francesco in Washington and…he endorsed her current status as a faith-based layabout. Given this pope's deft gift for strategic ambiguity and shrewd public relations, it's hard for me to understand how he could commit such a hamhanded blunder as picking a side in this fight…
God, the crowing from the Right is going to be deafening. Everything he said about capitalism and about the environment is going to be drowned out because he wandered into a noisy American culture-war scuffle in which one side, apparently the one he picked, has a seemingly ceaseless megaphone for its views. What a fcking [sic] blunder. What a sin against charity, as the nuns used to say.
This is, obviously, the dumbest thing this Pope ever has done. It undermines everything he accomplished on his visit here. It undermines his pastoral message, and it diminishes his stature by involving him in a petty American political dispute. A secret meeting with this nutball?...
…Who are you to judge, Papa Francesco? I'm afraid you just did. I will pray for you, because, damn, son, you need it.
Also in the wake of the pope/Davis news, Salon’s Scott Timberg counseled liberals who’d taken a shine to this pontiff:
The most immediate question is, How could [Francis] do such a thing? Isn’t this the smiling, tolerant pope who has spoken out against climate change, against income inequality and ravages of unchecked capitalism, who has talked about protecting the earth and respecting the poor? Isn’t he – American progressives are asking – one of us?...
…Did we lefties have our hopes up unrealistically about the Cool Pope?
Probably. But let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute: Besides a handful of entertainers and academics, and a very few politicians who will never become president, the American left is pretty small…Finding common ground with a man who leads more than a billion people made good sense.
But the Pope’s meeting with Kim Davis serves as a reminder: There’s only so much we’re ever going to have in common with each other.