Pop goes the Pope — Pope Francis: Pop Culture Icon
“Jorge Mario Bergoglio may be the chillest pontiff ever to ride in the popemobile…” ~ GQ Magazine
“Now we all know how the majority and the media in this country view the Catholic Church. They think of us as a passé, archaic institution. People find the Bible obtuse… even hokey. Now, in an effort to disprove all that, the Church has appointed this year as a time of renewal… both of faith and of style…” ~ George Carlin (as Cardinal Glick)
Folk, High, and Popular Culture
“Kenneth Myers, who discusses… different levels of culture in his book All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes, says that both folk cultures and high cultures tend to be timeless, whereas pop culture focuses on the new. Folk and high cultures focus on ability; pop culture emphasizes celebrity… ‘Folk culture’, says Myers, ‘while simpler in manner [than high culture] and less communicable from one folk to another, has the virtues of honesty, integrity, commitment to tradition, and perseverance in the face of opposition.’ These values of folk culture… conflict with the values of pop culture. In place of honesty, commercial art values artifice, appearance, and rhetorical manipulation. In place of integrity, pop culture is infinitely flexible, unprincipled, and open to anything. In place of commitment to tradition, pop culture has a commitment to fashion… In place of perseverance in the face of opposition… pop culture always goes with the flow.” (Gene Edward Veith and Thomas L. Wilmeth, Honky Tonk Gospel: The Story of Sin and Salvation in Country Music (Grand Rapids: Baker (2001) p. 163)
Pope Francis is very popular… one could say he’s become a pop culture icon
“A pop icon is a celebrity, character, or object whose exposure in pop culture constitutes a defining characteristic of a given society or era.” ~ Wikipedia (source)
Which of the following best describes Pope Francis? #1 or #2?
1) Honesty? or 2) Artifice, appearance, and rhetorical manipulation?
1) Integrity? or 2) Flexible and open to anything?
1) Commitment to tradition? or 2) Commitment to fashion?
1) Perseverance in the face of opposition? or 2) Going with the flow?
I think #2 best describes Pope Francis, and the Catholic Church in general, since Vatican II.
“Folk and high cultures focus on ability; pop culture emphasizes celebrity…”
TIME’s Person of the Year: Pope Francis, The People’s Pope
“And behind his self-effacing facade, he is a very canny operator. He makes masterly use of 21st century tools to perform his 1st century office. He is photographed washing the feet of female convicts, posing for selfies with young visitors to the Vatican…
Read more: TIME’s Person of the Year: Pope Francis, The People’s Pope – http://poy.time.com/2013/12/11/person-of-the-year-pope-francis-the-peoples-pope/
Pope Francis Is Esquire’s ‘Best Dressed Man of 2013′
“Not only is Pope Francis Time’s “Person of the Year,” but he’s also the “Best Dressed Man of 2013,” according to Esquire magazine. Not bad for a man who has been pope for less than a year…”
Read more: Pope Francis Is Esquire’s ‘Best Dressed Man of 2013′ – http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/01/pope-francis-is-esquires-best-dressed-man-of-2013/
Pope Francis: Cold-Caller of the Year 2013
“Jorge Mario Bergoglio may be the chillest pontiff ever to ride in the popemobile…” ~ GQ
Read More: Pope Francis: Cold-Caller of the Year 2013 – http://www.gq.com/moty/2013/pope-francis-men-of-the-year-cold-caller#ixzz2peifTSPC
The Advocate’s Person of the Year: Pope Francis
“While 2013 will be remembered for the work of hundreds in advancing marriage equality, it will also be remembered for the example of one man…” ~ The Advocate
Read more: The Advocate’s Person of the Year: Pope Francis – http://www.advocate.com/year-review/2013/12/16/advocates-person-year-pope-francis
Why has Pope Francis achieved pop culture celebrity status?
Is it his…
Honesty? Integrity? Commitment to tradition? Perseverance in the face of opposition?
Is it his…
Appearance? Rhetoric? Flexibility? Fashionability? Going with the flow?
Pope Francis has a PR genius who’s a media marketing mastermind…
The PR genius who helped make the Pope popular: Francis’s marketing mastermind, an ex US journalist who belongs to Opus Dei
“Trying on a firefighter’s helmet, allowing a young boy to hug his leg during a mass and phoning up his followers for a chat are just a few of the ways Pope Francis has attracted headlines in the last few months.
“And after years of negative press, the Catholic Church is basking in the ‘Francis Effect’ which has been credited with a 20 per cent rise in congregations in Britain, and similar boosts around the world.
“But who is the PR guru working quietly behind the scenes to help push Pope Francis forward and leading the Church out of one of its darkest spells following a slew of recent scandals?
“His name is Greg Burke and he is a senior media advisor to the Vatican…”
Read more: The PR genius who helped make the Pope popular: Francis’s marketing mastermind, an ex US journalist who belongs to Opus Dei – http://preview.tinyurl.com/k3zuf9l
ANALYSIS: Pope Francis, the improbable pop culture icon
“In 2013, cultural icons surge and retreat like tsunamis. Remember Carly Rae Jepsen? (Sure you do: “Call Me Maybe?”) But even in this viral era, lightning international popularity with a moral message is something unusual. Since the dawn of broadcast media, who else has managed this trick as well as Francis when starting with so little in the way of fame?”
Read more: ANALYSIS: Pope Francis, the improbable pop culture icon – http://preview.tinyurl.com/k5g3epl
Pope Culture: Behind the Phenomenon of the Pop Culture
“Maybe Pope Francis is a case of the right man for the pop culture moment: his views on the global disparity of wealth and his much publicized humble lifestyle choices are sound-bytes tailor made for the times. He’s eco-friendly, low consumption, and about as unostentatious as a celebrity can get. He is the anti-Kardashian…”
Read more: Pope Culture: Behind the Phenomenon of the Pop Culture – http://preview.tinyurl.com/n5dm5e2
Popping the Pope’s Popularity…
Not everyone — especially traditional Catholics and victims of Church sex abuse — loves Pope Francis…
Not everyone loves Pope Francis: Conservative Catholics voice concern over ‘revolutionary’ message
“Pope Francis’ plain-spoken populism has won rave reviews, from people in the pews to the man in the Oval Office, but his pronouncements on everything from atheists to abortion have shaken some conservative and traditional Catholics…”
Read more: Not everyone loves Pope Francis: Conservative Catholics voice concern over ‘revolutionary’ message – http://preview.tinyurl.com/l58k8e8
Hmm… Francis isn’t so popular with traditionalists, is he?
New Report Raises Questions about Pope Francis’ Response to Sex Abuse Scandal
“Father Julio Cesar Grassi was a celebrity in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. The young, dynamic, media-savvy priest networked with wealthy Argentines to fund an array of schools, orphanages and job training programs for poor and abandoned youths, winning praise from Argentine politicians and his superior, Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
“Grassi called his foundation Felices los Niños, “Happy Children.”
“Yet in the years after Grassi’s conviction, Bergoglio—now Pope Francis—has declined to meet with the victim of the priest’s crimes or the victims of other predations by clergy under his leadership. He did not offer personal apologies or financial restitution, even in cases in which the crimes were denounced by other members of the church and the offending priests were sent to jail…”
Read more: New Report Raises Questions about Pope Francis’ Response to Sex Abuse Scandal – http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/sarahposner/6936/
Hmm… Francis isn’t so popular with victims in Argentina, is he?
The Trouble With Francis: Three Things That Worry Me
“A third conundrum of contemporary Catholicism is the remarkable, even enviable public relations success, not to say coup, that the papacy of Pope Francis represents.
“I am not suggesting that there is no substance to Francis’ agenda, that change does not underlie it. Conservatives would not be so hot under their collective collars if that were not the case. But I am cognizant of the very powerful public relations machine that has turned an ecclesial ocean liner on a dime, transformed an all but written-off patriarchy into one of the most inviting, benevolent monarchies the world has seen in modern times.
“But substantive structural and doctrinal issues do not evaporate just because the pope does not wear Prada.
“Surely some of the ‘credit’ for this PR blitz goes to former Fox News and Time writer, Opus Dei member and Midwestern Catholic, Greg Burke…”
Read more: The Trouble With Francis: Three Things That Worry Me – http://preview.tinyurl.com/pmm9b3o
Hmm… this feminist theologian sees through Francis’ media savvy style, doesn’t she?
Vatican II: Pop goes the relevance of the Catholic Church
“Folk cultures and high cultures tend to be timeless, whereas pop culture focuses on the new.”
I think Pope Francis is (finally) the first post Vatican II pope to fully embody and fully express the meaning of Vatican II, which was to make the Church relevant to modern men.
Unfortunately, re-imaging the Catholic Church — with her long history and tradition — to make it palatable to popular culture, wasn’t a good idea. In fact, it’s backfired.
In today’s postmodern popular culture, no person and no institution should be as hated as should be the pope and the Catholic Church.
Yet today’s postmodern popular culture loves Pope Francis, if not the Catholic Church, which Francis is trying very hard to put a new, hip, friendly, and oh-so-tolerant face on… in order to make the Church appear relevant to postmodern persons, by ridding her of everything today’s postmodern popular culture needs: timeless morals, traditions, and — yes — dogma.
Dogma, Catholicism WOW! & Buddy Christ
In order to understand Pope Francis and his popularity, we need only revisit the 1999 film Dogma, wherein the Catholic Church (via George Carlin) introduces it’s new Catholicism Wow! PR campaign…
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now we all know how the majority and the media in this country view the Catholic Church. They think of us as a passé, archaic institution. People find the Bible obtuse… even hokey. Now, in an effort to disprove all that, the Church has appointed this year as a time of renewal… both of faith and of style. For example, the crucifix. While it has been a time honored symbol of our faith, Holy Mother Church has decided to retire this highly recognizable, yet wholly depressing image of our Lord crucified. Christ didn’t come to Earth to give us the willies… He came to help us out. He was a booster. And it is with that take on our Lord in mind that we’ve come up with a new, more inspiring sigil. So it is with great pleasure that I present you with the first of many revamps the “Catholicism WOW!” campaign will unveil over the next year. I give you… The Buddy Christ. Now that’s not the sanctioned term we’re using for the symbol, just something we’ve been kicking around the office, but look at it. Doesn’t it… pop? Buddy Christ…” ~ Cardinal Glick (George Carlin)
VIDEO – Dogma – Buddy Christ (George Carlin) – http://youtu.be/6FigprdcBGA
VIDEO – Dogma (FULL MOVIE) – http://youtu.be/UsaxijpmMYY
9 Reasons You Want The Pope To Be Your Best Buddy
“Having just been voted Time’s Person of the Year, Pope Francis is quickly becoming a papal superstar, bridging gaps between hardcore conservative Catholics, socially progressive Catholics and even people outside the church entirely. He’s painted himself as a guy who, while secure in his faith and its teachings, would really just like everyone to get along for the betterment of the world. In fact, he’s the best friend we all need — someone who mediates within your group of friends and helps keep everyone grounded and enlightened.
“And here are nine reasons you’d love to be buddies with him…”
Read more: 9 Reasons You Want The Pope To Be Your Best Buddy – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/16/pope-francis-buddy_n_4413450.html
See: VIDEO – Frank the Hippie Pope – http://youtu.be/WEchg1KhmTY
The Catholic Church is collapsing due to the innovations and novelties of Vatican II
The Vatican’s plan to halt this collapse?
Doubling-down on enforcing Vatican II’s failed innovations and novelties…
“In the midst of epic scandal in the Church, the Vatican cracks down on….the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate? Michael Matt and Christopher Ferrara want to know why? What is the crime of the FFI? Can it possibly be that they are too Catholic?”
See: VIDEO – Tradition Under Fire: Franciscans of the Immaculate vs. the Vatican – http://youtu.be/tn2nF_b76WA
“Just what WAS it like before Vatican II?”
See: VIDEO – Here come the Tradition Bashers! – http://youtu.be/V-tyFK6iBKI
Catholic parishes in Netherlands are closing at rapid rate
“Hundreds of Catholic churches in the Netherlands will likely fall into disuse by 2018, according to a recent report by a group aimed at protecting Dutch religious heritage buildings…
“The Netherlands permits euthanasia and abortion and was the first country to legalize so called “same-sex marriage” in 2001.”
Read more: Catholic parishes in Netherlands are closing at rapid rate – http://preview.tinyurl.com/k24ke7h
Over 1,800 US parishes have closed since 1990
“The number of Catholic parishes in the United States fell from 19,620 in 1990 to 17,784 in 2010–a drop of about 10%–according to a study conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate…”
Read more: Over 1,800 US parishes have closed since 1990 – http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=11063
Catholic Church turns to Anglicans to fill U.S. priest shortage
“The number of Roman Catholic priests in the United States has steadily dropped from nearly 59,000 in 1975 to just under 39,000 last year…”
Read more: Catholic Church turns to Anglicans to fill U.S. priest shortage – http://preview.tinyurl.com/l4vpldy
The Ugly Truth: Vatican II = New Religion (= The Pope isn’t Catholic)
“Catholics in Crisis: Four Types of Catholics Today: 1) Sedevacantist; 2) Traditional; 3) Conservative Novus Ordo; and 4) Progressive Novus Ordo…”
Read more: Vatican II = New Religion? – http://wp.me/pPnn7-2tu
“This video contains comments about the reaction to Antipope Francis’ recent activity, including his crackdown on a Novus Ordo religious community that showed interest in the Traditional Latin Mass.”
See: VIDEO – False Traditionalists: Reaping What They Have Sown – http://youtu.be/WFtPB-mecbs