Then-Pope Palpatine is shown with then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) in 2007. The new pope, who is Italian, only technically is Latin American.
When I saw the initial headline that the newly minted pope is from Argentina, I thought: Yes! They picked a pope from Latin America!
But only technically did they.
When I saw the new pope’s birth name — Jorge Mario Bergoglio (he’s going by Pope Francis) — I thought, Wait a minute: Bergoglio doesn’t sound Spanish…
Indeed, his entry on Wikipedia says that the 76-year-old Pope Francis was born in Buenos Aires in 1936 to Italian parents.
I was hoping for a native Latin American pope, but that was too much to hope for, apparently. We very apparently got yet another pope whose blood is that of the European white man. And as though we haven’t had enough Italian popes.
With his having been born and raised in Argentina, I’m not saying that the new pope isn’t acculturated as an Argentinian (he speaks Spanish as well as Italian, for instance), but let’s not be fooled into thinking that the Catholick church finally picked its first pope of color. It has not.
The Catholick church gets to say that it picked its “first Latin American pope” when, in fact, the Eurocentric church picked a guy with white European blood who only was born in Latin America.
That doesn’t count, in my book.
And I have to wonder if that’s why Bergoglio was picked: because of his appeal as a twofer. He could be called “the first Latin American pope,” on a technicality, but at the same time his selection did not break the looong chain of white-male popes.
Of course, no woman may head the Catholick church, so that’s discrimination against at least half of the human population, so maybe I’m splitting hairs here with the race thing.
Speaking of women, Pope Francis, although he looks like he’s a lot nicer than Pope Palpatine ever looked —
(indeed, in the photo above he kind of looks like Woody Allen playing a cardinal) — toes the Catholick church’s lines on the issues of abortion (no), contraception (n0) and same-sex marriage (hell no).
Indeed, the former Cardinal Bergoglio had come in at second place when Pope Palpatine was selected in 2005.
Expect no significant changes in the backasswards Catholick church, which I would say changes at a glacial pace, but since the glaciers are all melting, I’ll say at a geological (as in “geological time”) pace.