Pope Francis speaks to journalists aboard a flight from Mexico to Italy on Feb. 18, 2016. The pope has become a popular figure with the media. (Photo: AFP)
Who would have thought at the start of the 21st century that, just a couple of decades later, the pope would be the most forward-thinking and progressive leader on earth?
And yet, despite the fact that the Catholic Church is "200 years behind the times" as Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini SJ noted just before his death in 2012, his Jesuit confrere — Pope Francis — has emerged as one of the prime advocates of some of the world's most progressive causes.
These include strict environmental protection measures, free health care, a universal basic wage, radical reform of capitalism, a face mask mandate to halt the current health pandemic, and the list goes on.
Oh, he is also staunchly opposed to abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, embryonic stem-cell research, gay marriage, so-called "gender theory," something he's named "ideological colonization" and, apparently, women's ordination ... among other things.
But the mainstream secular media — and some progressive Catholics — do not give much attention to the pope's more conservative views.
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