Monday, April 13, 2015

The incredible shrinking papacy

I'm struck by what a small religious and media phenomenon Francis is compared to JP2. I was 19 when JP2 became pope, so I lived through his entire. pontificate. Saw all the coverage as an adult. He was a rock star. Drew vast crowds. Even when he became incapacitated, there were huge Catholic youth gatherings for Masses he celebrated. He was a major player on the international stage. 

Even though Francis has people skills that Benedict lacked, it's striking to see how small the papacy has become in contrast to JP2, in terms of popular excitement which JP2 generated. It's a very shrunken institution in the pop culture as well as Catholic circles these days. And that's just from two popes ago. It's a very diminished institution. (Actually, the bottom began falling out in the late 60s.) 

No comments:

Post a Comment