The Best Of The Dish Today

This was a day the new Pope proved how remarkable he is – simply for speaking the way Jesus spoke. No ideologies, no rigid certainties, committed to community, engaged with the margins, speaking of mercy, mercy, mercy. Readers will, I hope, forgive me for some of the gushing. But those 12,000 words – after such a long, dark period of rigid enforcement of orthodoxy, after the hideous conflation of the great truths of the Church with the political agendas of the far right, after an American hierarchy obviously more interested in control than in love – came like a shower in the desert. All the intimations we had seen since his papacy began, the hints and guesses, emerged in language as powerful as it was accessible.

My immediate reflections are here; my parsing of the text is here. Responses from others can be found here. A Mozart piece by the Pope’s favorite pianist, Clara Haskill, is above.

Some tempers flared over the terrible tragedy of Matthew Shepard; and a new front opened quite clearly in Syria – now a war between Assad, the Free Syrian Army and the most brutal of Sunni Jihadists. John McCain’s stunt in the Russian online media was as buffoonish as it was deeply unhelpful to resolving the question of Syria’s chemical stockpiles. And Stephen Colbert had the last laugh on me in the editing room.

The most popular post of the day was “The Rebirth of Catholicism.” The second most popular was “This Extraordinary Pope.”

See you later tonight at 10 pm on AC360 Later and in the morning.