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Pope Francis: neither a liberal nor a conservative, but a radical Christian with a heroic gospel

By Tim Stanley, Telegraph

Pope Francis is a beguiling, confusing pontif. Some in the media imagine him to be Fr Liberal, parachuting into the slums to feed the hungry and chastise the rich. Others regard him as positively medieval – all that crazy talk about demons and exorcisms ("The power of Christ compels you!"). He's a New World man doing the oldest job in the Old World; an Argentine with Italian blood who doesn't like Latin. He writes very little yet talks incessantly. He is, one Left-wing journalist reassures the obsessive critics of the Church, still a Catholic. That's a relief, because traditionalists tell me that we've elected a Buddhist.
 
Then a chance click on a blog by Alejandro Bermúdez, head of the Catholic News Agency, leant me a fascinating insight into his intellectual character. During his first homily, Pope Francis quoted the 19th century French convert Léon Bloy. And it's a striking quote:
When one does not confess Jesus Christ, I am reminded of the expression of Léon Bloy: ‘He who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil.’ When one does not confess Jesus Christ, one confesses the worldliness of the devil.
Oh my! To anyone who doubts Pope Francis' orthodoxy, there it is in black and white. God is a reality and to reject him is to embrace the only real alternative – the devil. Note that it's "the devil" with a small "d", because he's much smaller than God and cannot possibly win the Final Battle between the two. Satan is a pipsqueak and a born loser, and you'd have to be pretty dumb to pick him for an ally.
 
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