Pope Francis–Instant Reaction
It’s a good pick. As the National Catholic Reporter says, “the general consensus is that Bergoglio was indeed the ‘runner-up’ last time around. He appealed to conservatives in the College of Cardinals as a man who had held the line against liberalizing currents among the Jesuits, and to moderates as a symbol of the church’s commitment to the developing world.” That, the unpretentious way of life for which he’s known, and his choice of name—new but not odd, and a small-c catholic pick coming from a Jesuit—all suggest the right mix of the traditional and modern. And he starts, I think, with a relatively clean slate: no one will be greatly polarized by this choice, notwithstanding the perennially discontented left and right.