Look up in the sky! A bird? A plane? No, it’s the Super-Pope!
Pope Francis is increasingly sighted aloft with cape and briefcase – in graffiti at least. The celestial soaring is part of an informal social media campaign supporting the spiritual leader and his ideas.
Italian artist Mauro Pallotta surprised Vatican visitors with images of the pontiff as a manly, airborne superhero last January hovering at low altitude just outside the walls of the Vatican. Pallotto, a.k.a. “MauPal,” claims his inspiration came while simultaneously listening to the pope and reading a Superman comic.
Progressives and liberals in the Catholic Church fervently hope Francis is of their tribe or will at least promote their interests. He hasn’t disappointed them yet.
MauPal claimed the Pope is “our superhero” and presented him with a small version of the papal mural in person last February.
Officials seemed secretly pleased with the analogy, even tweeting images of the graphic offerings far and wide before Pallotta’s bright images were removed.
Bringing new life to the words “caped crusader,” Francis also stirs all the controversies the term historically carries. This time, however, the pope appears to stand against policies of his predecessors and is already challenging traditional church doctrine.
Homosexual accommodation is the big beached whale liberal church members are positioning in the best light, regardless of claims. Once dead in the water thanks to John Paul II and Benedict, it’s the pivotal target in their crosshairs now.
Cryptic remarks by Francis on homosexuality and its place in the Church revived the debate. A wake of perplexed members was left to decipher exactly what his holiness means by these offhand remarks.
Francis said he wants a “more merciful and less rigid Church,” although Catholic catechism previously stated homosexual folks are “accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity.”
Recently the pope beefed up inclusivity demands by pondering if the Church is “capable of accepting and valuing” homosexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on family. Since it is glaringly obvious that that doctrine would have to be stretched to “infinite tolerance” to accomplish that, many are pondering Francis’ words.
The drift away from tradition is so clear that openly homosexual artists like Elton John are holding praise-a-thons for the tolerance and compassion of the 266th pontiff.
More troubling is Francis’ culling of official dissenters, who are put to pasture or demoted. Though the patriarch of the West claimed clergy are allowed to speak in “in true freedom” now, the bishops are begging to differ – albeit quietly. It appears there is no tolerance for defiance of the new sexual glasnost of the Church.
Vatican officials are fencing with critics from the rank and file, who share conservative, family values. They claim this is unimportant and that doctrine hasn’t changed. But the world is seeing this as a clear norming of homosexuality or they wouldn’t be in rhapsodies.
Writers such as Liam Moloney assume street art reflects the view of the people, which would be hard to prove. From there he infers that the pope’s success in public art space proves a natural connection with the people and their deepest longings.
Gallery owner Stefano Antonelli claims, “Pope Francis is perfect as a subject for an art that was born for the average person. … He is one of us.”
Moloney et al miss the point that street-art stars such as Banksy (who honor Francis via aerosol) are extremely wealthy. Banksy only speaks for Banksy.
Few art celebrities are serious Catholics, so their relevance is limited – regardless how charming the image of patriarch of the West on a Vespa. If the discussion were solely over mass transportation, it wouldn’t be controversial and we could all just get along.
Illustrating the great divide is brutal contempt homosexual activists heaped on Francis’ predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, for their pro-family views.
The former pontiffs seemed to prophetically sense a future wave of “gay” aggression. In a 2005 book John Paul labeled homosexuality an “ideology of evil.” Benedict XVI seconded him with warnings humanity must be saved from “homosexual or transsexual behavior,” which is “intrinsically evil.”
Homosexual magazine “The Advocate” bequeathed them both “Phobie Awards” for daring to keep Catholic tradition. God is now labeled “anti-gay.”
Conversely, “The Advocate” hailed Francis as “Man of the Year” last December. It appears to them at least that the vicar of Christ is squarely in their camp.
“Appears” is the key word here, as the Vatican clarifies, denies or re-interprets statements conservatives find worrisome. Francis recently answered questions over openly homosexual clergy with a rhetorical and spiritually slick query: “Who am I to judge?”
Christians believe God alone is our final judge, yet Francis has power to judge this issue, or no one would be asking his opinion.
Migliandolo, a tiny Italian hamlet near the Pope’s birthplace, is sponsoring a competition to honor Francis with a huge mural on a possible visit next year. If he continues his overtures to the homosexual community and rebuffs to conservatives, it may include something like this piece by José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros:
Meanwhile, liberal artists are thrilled to have the Super-Pope riding their bus line. No one knows where it will end.
SOURCES: Before It’s News; Fox News; Time.com; Vatican; Mauropallotta.com; Wall Street Journal; Catholic News.