The future of the Catholic Church is bright, my friends. A woman hired by the Vatican? That is some serious progress…even if it isn’t meaningful in any way.

It’s a bit like this nonsense about how amazing it is that the Cardinals elected a Pope from South America. It’s totally revolutionary! It’s a first in the history of the Catholic Church…unless you count all of the other times it happened.

It seems like people on both sides of aisle were surprised and had a few things to say about the election of the new Pope. Atheists seemed surprised that the guy is a Catholic leader with very specific views on topics the Catholic leadership will not budge on for generations to come, namely gay rights and contraception. Members of the flock seemed impressed that he’s from South America and has actually given more than a moment’s thought and a dollar in the basket for the poor and disenfranchised. While I’m certainly ready to give him kudos for his stance on the poor, it seems like his view should have been the official message coming from the Vatican for years, specifically for about two thousand years. It’s not like Jesus wasn’t clear about that particular issue throughout his entire adult life. I guess it’s easy to confuse caring for the poor and espousing the merits of being poor with a mandate to found your own nation with a massive golden palace dedicated to your own hubris.

Can you tell I’m not fond of the hypocrisy?

The fact is that the new Pope is more or less the same as the old Pope when it comes to the “difficult” questions of human rights and human health. Yeah, it’s great he doesn’t totally hate the poor but nobody with a heart does. It’s not as if there is some massive opposition movement against helping the poor.

Oh, woops, there I go forgetting about Corporate America again.

It’s certainly a little sad that such influential institutions seem to cling to the past with such fervency, but I suppose that’s sort of the point. I mean, where else can people terrified of things they simply don’t understand turn to for validation if places like the Vatican actually change in a meaningful and fundamental way? Besides, if the Vatican supports something as ludicrously simple as safe sexual interaction using contraceptives or promotes the rights of all human beings rather than just heterosexuals living in monogamous relationships and only having sex to procreate, I’m pretty sure the entire universe will implode.

I’ll stop with the sarcasm now, I know it doesn’t read well.

While others may look to the Pope for guidance or leadership, I sort of hope he doesn’t do much of anything. You can’t mess things up too badly if you don’t say anything at all.

Good luck, Pope Francis. May you not fuck things up as some of your predecessors.