People are always asking me what I think of Pope Francis, which says little about me and a great deal about the interest that this pontiff has aroused around the world. At the present moment I can highly recommend the essay, “Who Is the Pope?” by Eamon Duffy, Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity at Cambridge University. It appears in the February 19 issue of The New York Review of Books. I have appreciated some of Duffy’s essays in the past, notably his evisceration of James Carroll’s Constantine’s Sword.
You can find the piece about Pope Francis at
although I think you will have to subscribe, pay for the article, or buy the issue (it’s a particularly interesting one, with an article about the events shown in the movie Selma, among many other subjects).
I have had serious reservations about Francis, which I posted on this blog when he was first elected. Duffy’s article addresses them in ways that, while not satisfying me entirely by any means, seem fair and balanced. And his piece is full of interesting and provocative reflections on the current situation in the Curia, the College of Cardinals, and the Synod of Bishops.
Here is the links to my most pertinent blog on the subject: