'...And what rough beast, its hour come round at last...'

Interesting take on Pope Francis and the kind of "soft-boiled spirituality" that has produced this odd pontificate.

Human nature being what it is, Christianity has always had its "soft-boiled" side. "A little Christianity is as useful for our purposes as none at all," C.S. Lewis's fictional demn Screwtape wrote to his nephew Slubgub, "but much more amusing." While secularists are fond of mocking the "Christian majority" for claiming to be picked on and persecuted, the fact is that the Christianity of most Americans- and most Westerners- has always been of the casual variety. Discipleship isn't all that much easier in allegedly "Christian" countries than in pagan ones.

And Christian theology has always ha its accommodationist side as well. Mainline Protestantism is its most obvious and influential face. But Catholicism has its analog. Pope Francis's own Jesuit order has always been suspected in some circles of a willingness to play a bit fast and loose with doctrine for the same of gaining cultural acceptance in the mission field, for example.

Is Pope Francis a part of it- in fact, does his pontificate represent its triumph. Or, does his visit with Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis, who refuses to issue licenses for same-sex "marriages" despite Obergefell v. Hodges, indicate that there's more substance- and theological backbone- to Francis than has thus far met the eye?

Interesting question. Time will tell.


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