Who is that Old Guy?

Not for the first time, the media missed the call of the papal election. This was a bit odd, given that Pope Francis was the apparent runner-up to Pope Benedict in the last election.

Not for the first time, too, the media eagerly looked for something negative to say about the religious leader. Argentina’s authoritarian government was happy to leak innuendoes about the Pope’s failure to be sufficiently resistant to earlier tyranny–accusations that no independent authorities take seriously.

The most interesting thing about this election to me, though, was all the attention lavished upon it by the same mainstream media. Non-religious friends have been emailing me, too–when they know the Pope is Catholic and I’m not.

Everyone wanted to know who would be Pope–even though, now that he is elected, they are very likely to ignore most of what he has to say. —J. Douglas Ousley

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