On Oct. 8, he spoke with the Register’s senior editor, Joan Frawley Desmond, about Pope Francis’ efforts to reach alienated Catholics and the public through an unprecedented strategy of informal interviews that reportedly bypassed Vatican filters.
Two recent interviews with Pope Francis have produced inaccurate headlines attacking pro-life activism and Catholic conversions. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat worried that the Pope’s communications strategy — which Douthat described as an “almost-frantic engagement with the lapsed-Catholic, post-Catholic and non-Catholic world” — could backfire. What’s your view?
It’s important for everybody to calm down and look at the big picture.
Pope Francis, the Successor of Peter, is the most popular man on the planet. There are worse things that could happen, especially given the water under the bridge, such as the abuse scandals.
You can quibble about how he is saying things, but we are in a good place. Even the need to explain and interpret the Pope’s words is not bad, because you get to talk about things.
I lived through the whole Da Vinci Code excitement, and in the end, it was a gift. It made Opus Dei open the door and shine the light, and people found Opus Dei was okay. It wouldn’t have happened without the novel.