9/25/2013—I am surprised by the reception—rapturous reception—Pope Francis is receiving. I have to listen to the speech. Friends of mine called it charming. The Pope does have a good heart.
But what is notable is the authority with which he is speaking. People care what he says. People, especially politicians, want his approval. And not just Catholics. Partly it is because he is Pope. But of course it is also Francis’ own character.
But the most important lasting effect the Pope’s visit, and especially his speech to the Congress followed by visiting the homeless, might have is to remind secularists of the notable character of religion. Francis is unique. Most religion is not like him. But no secularist is like him that I know of.