Quickly, Pope Francis has become a rock star. Along with his rise in influence and power has been the comeback of the Roman Catholic Church in America. The BOSTON GLOBE, which had outed the sex abuse scandal among priests, now has hired a reporter to cover the Vatican. It might even launch a stand-alone publication on Catholicism.
Not since Pope John XXIII, who championed the unity of all the world's spiritual paths, has a religious leader captured hearts and minds. Given that, it's difficult to gain perspective on both this man and Catholicism.
The mighty mind for that job is no longer with us: Christopher Hitchens. As we recall, even devout followers of faiths loved Hitchens and prayed for him during his struggle with cancer. That was despite his besteller "God Is Not Great." In it he argued aggressively against the belief in this entity we call "God."
We know that Hitchens could deliver some straight talk about the pontiff. Some of it would be positive. Some of it would be negative. The takeaways would provide perspective on Francis The Phenomenon.