Empty-headed millennial icon Kim Kardashian has made her Twitter pronouncement: “The pope is dope.” Indeed, by every political optics measure, the United States public relations tour to rehab the reputation of the Catholic Church by Pope Francis was a resounding success. Undoubtedly, the main beneficiary will be the waning fortunes of the Church. In his final Mass in Philadelphia (from the Greek philos meaning “love” or “friendship” and adelphos for “brother”), the pope struck just the right tone of 'new beginnings' by meeting with survivors of clergy sexual abuse with the promise to hold accountable those responsible for church scandals.
I sincerely hope he fulfills that public pledge. Unlike a contemporary predecessor, Pope John Paul II, who ignored priest-child abuse, Pope Francis certainly is in position to “clean house” and should do so despite the institution's longstanding history of turning a blind eye to sexual immorality for profit. Even Kim would enthuse: it is W.J.W.D!
However, while in America pro-life Pope Francis neglected to be outspokenly critical of Democrat-supported Planned Parenthood. Likewise, the pontiff should have taken that golden opportunity both to defend the rights of the unborn, and taken top U.S. military brass to task for permitting children to be exploited as sex slaves by Afghan allies on U.S. military bases under all of their very noses. Doesn't the Vicar of Christ have a responsibility to combat this hot-button issue—both within and beyond the Church—wherever it is unfortunately found?
The larger question looms: with the world's eyes upon him, why didn't he?
On the ground, whistle-blowing soldiers with moral objections to arming Afghan pedophiles and making them commanders of local villages have been disciplined and/or faced career ruin for coming forward. As an example, two Green Berets beat up one child-abuser for keeping a boy chained to his bed. For this decent act of coming to the rescue of a defenseless child, one of the soldiers, Captain Dan Quinn, was relieved of his command and pulled out of Afghanistan. The past notwithstanding, doesn't today's disgrace warrant this pope's attention?
Pope Francis, like Obama pre-presidency, is a superficial symbol of 'hope and change.' However, being at the helm of the world's most popular religion, he needs to do more than metaphorically placing a carnation in the barrel of a gun.