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He’s the pope, not a rock star


Headline from


“In the year since he was elected, Pope Francis has become the most talked-about person on the Web. é Still, he appears not to have much impact on the number of Americans attending Mass, converting to Catholicism or giving to Catholic charities é .”

Between the Lines

So says polling data from the Pew Research Center. The media do not understand that the pope is not a rock star and his “effectiveness” is not measured by how many people attend his “concerts.” Nor is faithfulness measured by how many people enter a church building on a regular basis.

Because a reported 40 percent of U.S. Catholics polled by Pew say they’ve been “praying more often,” reading the Bible, or are “excited” about their faith does not mean that people are more or less devout. It certainly has no bearing on the goodness or effectiveness of Pope Francis.

Faith is not about excitement or feelings, but secular press wants to count the number of times people attend church as a way to gauge their faith. It doesn’t work that way.

As head of the Church, the pope acts as its visible leader of the faithful. People holding protest signs demanding the Church change its standing on women priests, birth control, and divorce are the ones making news, but they do not represent “the faithful.”

Faith is in the heart. It fills the soul, but you would not expect the secular press to ever understand.

Headline from


“A New Jersey high school honor student, who is also an athlete and a cheerleader, has sued her parents for school money after she says they kicked her out of their home when she turned 18 é .”

Between the Lines

The parents did not kick their daughter out, but wanted her to abide by their rules as long as she was under their roof. They eventually took her back and, hopefully, she has learned from this experience.

Headline from


“Rural and small town Americans work hard to make a living and adapt to changing times. ... rural America’s newest challenges will come in the form of a changing climate and the subsequent rise of pests, fires, floods é .”

Between the Lines

To think that these “changing times” and unpredictable weather are anything new for farmers shows how out of touch the folks in the Center for Rural Affairs really are.

Devastating floods in history were recorded long before the man-made climate change was discovered. For instance, great floods in the 1300s killed thousands along the Danube, and throughout history, there have been floods, droughts, and other major weather events. To suddenly think that we humans can change the weather pattern is to assume that we can control Mother Nature.

As kids in school in the 1950s and ’60s, we were taught about the coming Ice Age; in the ’80s, our children were taught to expect global warming, and now our grandchildren are warned about climate change.

Methinks that mankind today has far too much confidence in its ability to change the world, for either good or bad.

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