The Italians have a saying, “morto un papa, se ne fa un altro”: literally, “one pope dies, another is made”, or, figuratively, “life goes on“.
The phrase comes to mind in these days when the Pope’s image and likeness continues to appear on very prominent magazine covers.
(That last one I just photographed this morning.)
Popularity does not equal salvation. Jesus said very clearly what our attitude should be toward worldly adulation: “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26). I am sure the Pope knows this. But let us also give it some consideration.
Let’s not get caught up in this worldly superficiality. As Catholics we are loyal to the Supreme Pontiff whether he is Man of the Year or not, or whether Rolling Stone thinks he is cool or not (NB: they are pretty down on Benedict XVI…).
It’s nice to get positive press coverage – though I would prefer accurate coverage over positive – but “life goes on” in the Church and in the world whether that coverage is there or not. “Morto un papa, se ne fa un altro!”