Robert Mickens compares Benedict and Francis on their fanboys and girls. Raul Castro and Al Gore get a lot of snickers in certain Catholic circles, but maybe it’s all in the head:
Interestingly, (Pope Francis’s) predecessor also had a following of celebrity non-Catholics and, indeed, non-believers (mostly in Europe and the West). But they were not so much interested in joining the Church. Called atei devoti (devout atheists), they were mostly conservative intellectuals who saw the preservation of Euro-centric Catholicism—which was at the heart of the last pontificate—as the last bulwark against the full collapse of the ancien regime.
Were they really interested in E-Catholic as much as the whole aristocracy/divine right thing? Last time I checked a good swath of the European 20th century was trashed because of adventurism on the part of the upper crust of western so-called civilization. Maybe it’s a good millennium to leave some of that old stuff behind.