Gallup’s popularity contest, open-ended, is up. For some Catholics, a good news/bad news affair. Pope Francis is tied with George W. Bush. For second place. Far behind the president. On one hand, that surprised me somewhat. Otherwise, given that popularity contests do not account for negative opinions, maybe not so surprising.
Maybe the Holy Father is pleased, distantly, with his Esquire award. The red shoe thing is mentioned again. Some conservative Catholics still fume on the red shoes. But, these are the symbols of the blood of martyrs. Unfortunately, the whiff of Prada (even though Pope Benedict’s shoes were not Prada) is a rather strong meme to overcome.
At first glance, red shoes are simply different. When I think of red shoes, I first think of music, then the fairy tale. (My sister is a dancer, hence I know something about this.) Red shoes, red capes, red finery: these have undeniable roots in tradition. But most people aren’t living under the tree of Catholic tradition. Are martyrs honored by colored clothing and accessories, or by setting an example for others? Or at least telling the story of their sacrifice? Clogging up the beatification of Oscar Romero seems to me to be putting grime and mud on the witness of all martyrs.