That’s tough to believe, but facts can be a bear, and in this case, a ravenous Canadian polar bear. It’s hard to imagine Francis will be enjoying this mission. It’s not going to be like leading a parade in the Popemobile, surrounded by happy dancing Catholics, food vendors and pickpockets. It’s going to be sitting in front of a crowd of angry Inuits and humbly begging their forgiveness for one of the Church’s many monstrous offenses against the natives of the New World.
Of course, the Church committed many monstrous offenses in the Old World, too—it was consistent like that, but Europeans had experience with Catholicism and could generally tell what way the Papal wind was going to blow. The native peoples of the far Canadian north had no warning when the priests and nuns showed up and told them, “We’re going to make your kids into nice French Canadians, eh? Because we don’t want them just sitting in the snow among the eagles and the caribou like you do, freezing your asses off on your way to Hell like the useless pagans that you are.”
Naturally, they said it in French, but you’ve got Google Translate.*
It’s also difficult to imagine any prior Pope taking on such a mission. Previously, the Church’s position on past questionable practices was to blow a little incense up the interrogator’s ass and tell him/her to say three Our Fathers and six Hail Mary’s for even asking. Or they would say, “It was the will of God, and get your shoes off my altar.”
When Francis prays at night, in the extremely nice prayer place he has, no doubt surrounded by gold and precious art, it is tough to imagine him being at ease. It is easier to think of him praying, “Jesus Christ, why did you pick me to justify these two thousand years of Catholic brutal overlording and pious sadism and try to get the Church to lurch into the future? If I had known it was going to be like this when I was a young priestling in Buenos Aires, I would have quit and become an electrical contractor like my Tio Luis.”
Better him than me. If the Church would replace the Hosts with Cheeze-its, though, it would help. And let people reach into the box and grab as many as they want. That’s what I would do. Amen.
Too lazy to use Google Translate? Okay, this is what I got: ‘On va faire de vos enfants de gentils Canadiens français, hein? Parce que nous ne voulons pas qu'ils restent assis dans la neige parmi les aigles et les caribous comme vous le faites, vous gelant le cul sur le chemin de l'enfer comme les païens inutiles que vous êtes.’ Sounds pretty close, really.