Habetis Papam by David Bentley Hart | Articles | First Things: F
ar be it from me—not being a Roman Catholic—to tell Catholics what they should think of their pontiff. But, just as a brief amicus curiae (so to speak), I want to note that I feel a wholly unqualified admiration for Francis; and nothing he has done, said, or written since assuming office has had any effect on me but to deepen that esteem. I have to say also that I am utterly baffled by the anxiety, disappointment, or hostility he clearly inspires in certain American Catholics of a conservative bent (using “conservative” in its distinctly American acceptation). And frankly I find it no more inexplicable in its most extreme expressions—which at their worst verge on sheer �hysteria—than in its mildest—an almost morbid oversensitivity to every faint hint of hidden meanings in every word, however innocuous, that escapes the pope’s lips or pen.
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