I thought you might like to know my opinion of your papacy so far.
It\’s terrific that you\’ve given up wearing those specially-made red shoes and living in the papal palace, and that you sometimes ride around in an old Fiat. I like it that you talk about the poor a lot and are not afraid to tell the rich what you think of some of their tactics. My mother would be happy that you agree with her that wasting food is immoral
But why you canonized John Paul II is beyond me. He may have been instrumental in the downfall of Communism, but despite his cuddly media image he was cruelly conservative, preaching against birth control to women in third-world countries and condemning the use of condoms in the midst of the AIDS epidemic.
On the other hand, I approve of your making good Pope John XXIII a saint, and dispensing with the miracle requirement. His revolutionary papacy was miracle enough for me. He\’s beaming down on you from heaven and whispering advice in your ear. Listen to him.
So on the whole it\’s been an encouraging beginning, a B-, I would say.
But now you have to do something for women.
You could put some nuns in charge of something in the Vatican–and not just of making sausages, as John Paul II did. Despite how much they scared us in grammar school, nuns are about the only sector of the Church that still commands respect. Give them some big, visible jobs to do. They\’ll be terrific.
You could remove the penis as a prerequisite for the priesthood. It doesn\’t seem to help make priests more Christ-like, does it? And the seminaries are almost empty.
You say you have compassion for the poor, but who are most of the world\’s poor, if not women? And what, more than too-large families, keeps women poor? You could transform the lives of millions–and do a big favor for the planet, which you also say you care about–by lifting the Church\’s proscription on birth control.
Francisco, haz algo para las mujeres! We\’ve been waiting for two thousand years.