Though I have never loved anything Catholic, I love Pope Francis. I don't think I need to tell you why And though I have never owned a bobblehead, I am seriously considering buying one of these.
Catholic meant those other kids we never played with, though I don't remember being told not to. They walked in the opposite direction to school. Catholic meant kids in uniform, and those bizarrely short pleated skirts that barely covered the girls' bums.
Catholic meant Blessed Sacrament School and The Pines convent on Ursaline Avenue, where I had to go for my violin lessons. Shit-scary place, looked medieval, if I had known what that meant.
Catholic meant exorcisms and stuff like that, and Mary, a big deal over Mary who was very much a supporting player to us Protestant kids.
Being Irish, Catholics represented a deep, unspeakable schism. We just "knew". Just as my uncritical grandma from northern Ireland described people from the south of Ireland as "rather common", Catholics would have been described as Papists, if they were spoken of at all.
But I don't have to think about any of that any more, because, like a miracle, we have Pope Francis, who makes more sense than any spiritual leader since the Dalai Lama.
And I love him, too.