March 14, 2013

"Pope Francis put his humility on display during his first day as pontiff Thursday, stopping by his hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill himself..."

Interesting phrase from the Associated Press: "put his humility on display." I was feeling warm-hearted about the Pope's going back to the hotel to get his luggage and pay the bill, but that phrase had a distancing effect. So he made a show of humility.

So how does the AP go about informing us that the Pope only has one lung? "Pope's 1 Lung Shouldn't Affect Duties." Is that casting skepticism on his capacity for the work — which AP tells us includes "daunting challenges ahead ranging from the church sex abuse scandal to reinvigorating the flock"?

By the way, just in terms of usage, what do you think of "Pope's 1 Lung Shouldn't Affect Duties." Isn't it the lack of lung #2 that's the problem? Suggested correction: Pope's 1-Lungedness Shouldn't Affect Duties.

79 comments:

Henry said...

Pope's 1 Lung Shouldn't Affect Duties

He must be a zombie pope. They're worried that breathing will interrupt his work.

Are zombies humble?

traditionalguy said...

Or as El Rushbo might humbly declare: He can breath the Holy Spirit with one lung tied behind his back.

David said...

Putting humility on display is the perfect modern American headline, easily stated with no intervention from the brain whatsoever.

Shouting Thomas said...

He's gotta do photo ops since he's the face of the Church. What's your suggestion? An appearance on The View?

Last night's NY Times' lead article was pretty funny. Appears that abortion and gay marriage should be priorities for the Pope.

Why does everybody who hates the Catholic Church have an opinion on what the Church should do and represent? It's pretty funny. My FB page is swamped this morning with mockery and hatred of the Church.

chickelit said...

An overeager press lunged at Francis, hyperventilating.

Carol said...

AP says, bring on teh priestesses!

phx said...

"Pope's 1 Lung Shouldn't Affect Duties."

You're right, terrible headline. If you don't know any of the background you might be thinking, well what about the other lung?

I suck at writing headlines, but your fix sounds a little awkward with that 1-lungedness thingy.

Reminds me of the children's joke we used to tell years ago. Kid's pulling some device down the street in a wagon, cop stops him and says "Kid, what's that you got?" Kid sez, "It's an iron lung." Cop sez, "An iron lung? Where did you get that?" "From my father?" "Well, what did he say when you took it?" "Aaaaaagggghhhhh!"

I'm at the Funny Bone in Buffalo through Friday.

Patrick said...

That poor writing makes the new Pope look bad. The reader is left to think that the Pope was all showy about his humility. Perhaps he just wanted to get his stuff, and did so without thinking. Who knows? Poor writing.

m stone said...

"Minimalist air-breathing pope brings hope for CO2 emissions and global warming"

Carol said...

the papal election sure got a lot of coverage, considering the church is so evil, irrelevant and behind the times..or is 'everyone' waiting for some sort of absolution? or at least validation?

Mitchell the Bat said...

Funny how duty is seen as amenable to modification when the idea of performance is so readily at hand.

The result of an irremediably secular viewpoint, I should think.

Erika said...

I really dislike the numeral in the headline. Couldn't the writer use the word 'single' in some way?

The rest: same old same old. But thanks for calling it out, Althouse.

jimbino said...

The truth is, if the Pope lost a brain, or had half of it tied behind his back, it wouldn't affect his spiritual leadership of the RC church or the rationale for its policies.

AprilApple said...

Paying your own way in life is so radical.

Tridad said...

Pope One Lung is his Native American name, but he goes by Francis.

Tridad said...

Pope One Lung is his Native American name, but he goes by Francis.

Greg said...

Pope's 1 Lung? No Problem!

Renee said...

One happy woman here. Even though the mortgage company called at the announcement. "Is this important? " "No." "Ummm. We're waiting for the new Pope!" Hang up on the man. I missed it.

Calypso Facto said...

How dare the reporter point out a major physical handicap in the first place. Anatomist!

The headline should be: "Breaking Through the Glass Basilica: Pneumo-Diverse Pope Fully Capable"

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Yeah, riding into town on a donkey and washing people's feet are pretty flashy displays of humility too.

And how about that whole nailed to a cross thingy. Publicity whore.

pm317 said...

For AP, they won't prostrate before or suck or whore on any one else other than Obama. Pope is non-threatening and he is not one of them, not a liberal. So they go after him.

Bob_R said...

I like this Wiki quote about humility, "Catholic texts view humility as annexed to the cardinal virtue of temperance. It is viewed as a potential part of temperance because temperance includes all those virtues that restrain or express the inordinate movements of our desires or appetites."

I like the word "temperance" as a description for the type of manners exhibited by the new pope. It's hard to imagine someone with a small ego becoming head of the Catholic church.

Jimmy Carter is someone who has genuinely temperate, simple habits, yet is perhaps the most vain president of my lifetime. (That's saying something. No one wakes up one morning and thinks, "Next job - President of the US" without having an oversized ego.) Carter preens under flattery and recoils at the smallest slights. He reeks of disdain for his "inferiors." Yet he seems to have a genuine distaste for the royalist perks that Nixon and Obama enjoyed/enjoy so much. Vain yet temperate.

LarsPorsena said...

The pope is not 1 Lunged. He has a unitary lung.

jacksonjay said...


The professor want to talk humility and 1 lung phrasing? Let's talk about the good stuff!

He is too white, too male, too old, not gay, not transgender, not really Hispanic(white Hispanic)and anti-woman! He also appears be anti-Marxist! The Catholics chose a Catholic!

betamax3000 said...

Next thing you know we're going to find out he only has one liver.

phx said...

One life to liver.

phx said...

I got nothin'.

rcommal said...

The new pope, 76, had a lung removed when he was a teen-ager. It seems odd to me to expend much concern about his lack of a second lung now, given that it appears he's been functioning quite well without it for what one can assume is something like 60 years. Many a two-lunged person has died of lung-related issues well before 76, after all. Those all-so-concerned about the one lung need to slow down and take a few deep breaths.

(Yeah, someone had to employ the obvious; why not me ? ; ) .)

wyo sis said...

I may be wrong here, but even though the new Pope was chosen by conclave isn't the assumption that he is God's choice? God chose him and the votes are a confirmation of God's choice through inspiration.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "daunting challenges ahead ranging from the church sex abuse scandal to reinvigorating the flock"?"

Would one-lunged sheep insemination satisfy both requirements?

Dr Weevil said...

How does jimbino know that "if the Pope lost a brain, . . . it wouldn't affect his spiritual leadership of the RC church or the rationale for its policies"? Personal experience.

phx said...

I may be wrong here, but even though the new Pope was chosen by conclave isn't the assumption that he is God's choice?

I'm not sure even the Catholics go that far. That sounds like the kind of thing they might teach in a madrass in Peshawar. You know, if they were Catholic.

MadisonMan said...

This is quite a coincidence, because I therefore also showed considerable humility by paying my car rental bill yesterday. I also showed complete humility when I paid the cab fare home.

Why am I not Pope, I wonder?

Paul Zrimsek said...

This spells the end of the doctrine of papal inflatability.

The Popemobile has always had humility plates instead of vanity plates, so no change there.

Bob Ellison said...

I can't stomach all this loose speculation about the pope's missing lung. Lazy journalists think they've found a rich vein, and their bilious comments are shameful. And colon: kidney spleen gluteus maximus.

Bob Ellison said...

Oh, man, Paul Zrimsek, that was well played.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Madison Man-

The difference is that the pope achieved humility; you had it thrust upon you.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I knew a kid in grade school who had the nickname "Jimmy One Nut."

I doubt he'll ever be made Pope.

rcommal said...

According to AP style, numbers are written out through nine and then numerals are used. The exception is for headlines where it is OK to use numerals for numbers under ten. This is due to the space constraints governing headlines (in dead-tree format) due to column[s] width and point-size and font specifications (and, back in the day, anyway, how much kerning you were allowed to get away with). Writing heds is more challenging that folks might know.

edutcher said...

Every morning, he sings, "Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer".

Shouting Thomas said...

Why does everybody who hates the Catholic Church have an opinion on what the Church should do and represent? It's pretty funny. My FB page is swamped this morning with mockery and hatred of the Church.

The Lefties were all swept up by the guitar Masses and liberation theology in the 60s and think the Church should be their thrall.

jimbino said...

The truth is, if the Pope lost a brain, or had half of it tied behind his back, it wouldn't affect his spiritual leadership of the RC church or the rationale for its policies.


Considering the Church has had some pretty heave intellectual hitters speaking for it over the last 2 millennia (Augustine, Aquinas, etc.), and considering how well jimbino's "Let's do it like the Euros" has worked the last 4 decades, it's a pretty sure thing jimbino gets up every morning and sings, "If I Only Had A Brain".

rcommal said...

Pope's 1-Lungedness Shouldn't Affect Duties

And thus, Althouse, your proposed substitution wouldn't work...because it wouldn't fit.

rcommal said...

Bob_R:

Excellent 9:02.

rcommal said...

The hed on the linked article says "partial" now, by the way: not 1.

rhhardin said...

The Pope is the most humble man in the world, to quote a co-worker from the 60s.

Erika said...

rcommal--that makes sense, given the space constraints. It just looks yucky.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Surprised the AP writer didn't say "awesome 1 lung"

carrie said...

This Pope is a Jesuit. Jesuits believe in simple living and, I believe, take a vow of poverty. Not all priests are required to take vows of poverty. Packing up after himself and getting his own luggage reflects his Jesuit view of life and I am sure was not intended to be a public display of anything. Having a Jesuit Pope will be interesting.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

1-lungedness is too capable of being misconstrued. I would wonder who he lunged at that one time.

Seeing Red said...

Wretchard has a good post, hope it works out that way.

dbp said...

How does the AP know that Pope Francis was putting his humility on display? Maybe he was just doing an unremarkable thing, just like Madison Man.

As for the headline, I would have used "single" instead of "1" and let the reader decide which lung (the one still inside the pontif or the other one) was refered to by "single".

edutcher said...

carrie said...

This Pope is a Jesuit. Jesuits believe in simple living and, I believe, take a vow of poverty. Not all priests are required to take vows of poverty. Packing up after himself and getting his own luggage reflects his Jesuit view of life and I am sure was not intended to be a public display of anything. Having a Jesuit Pope will be interesting.

Not intended as a shot at the man or his order, but it is instructive to note Himmler (the one-time aspirant) based the SS on the Jesuits.

Whatever this guy is or does or believes, he is hard core.

I don't think he's going to back away from tough issues.

Bruce Hayden said...

The Pope will adjust. It isn't that he won't be able to be humble hereafter, but rather, that there are going to be a lot of times in the future where his church cannot take the risk, or the time from his schedule, for him to live anymore like a normal person. I think that most of us here would have a problem transitioning from a somewhat normal life to that of an international religious leader, President of this country, etc.

So, instead of his own apartment (instead of whatever palatial residence was normal in his previous position as an arch-bishop and cardinal), he will be constrained to live in the Papal apartments, and instead of flying commercial, he will fly privately. He will henceforth, at least until he retires (if he ever does, and I think he just might follow his predecessor in this way), never drive himself, always have heavy security outside the Vatican, etc. Not something that he strived for (contrary apparently to President Obama), but rather, just penance for the job that he was called to take on.

DADvocate said...

I put my humility on display many times each day. I have trumpets blaring and a herald who calls out attention to my humility for all to notice. Greatness through humility. That's me.

Harsh Pencil said...

Catholics don't believe God picks the Pope. They believe the Holy Spirit influences the hearts of the electors, but they can be non-receptive to his influence. They can still screw it up. Benedict actually spoke on this and said something like "you can't pin the really bad popes on God."

carrie said...

ebutcher-if you statement wasn't a shot, what was it? Himmler may have stolen steal ideas from Jesuits but the Jesuits are not responsible for what Himmler did with those ideas. The Peace Corps is based on the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and the Jesuits are not responsible for what the Peace Corps does either.

wyo sis said...

I guess I'm being too literal, but if God doesn't choose the Pope how can they expect the Pope to receive inspiration from God in directing the church?
If the Pope can just ignore God's will where is his authority? Wouldn't God remove a Pope that wasn't following His directives? Does someone in the hierarchy stop the Pope from doing things that God doesn't want done?

edutcher said...

carrie said...

ebutcher-if you statement wasn't a shot, what was it? Himmler may have stolen steal ideas from Jesuits but the Jesuits are not responsible for what Himmler did with those ideas.

Never said they were. Go back and read what I said.

I was just making note of the fact the Jesuits are viewed as a hard-core, no nonsense organization (I even heard an Augustinian priest say so when I was at Villanova) and that model was what Himmler wanted.

Oh, and, don't act like the trolls - get the name right, it ain't that hard.

Bruce Hayden said...

I'm not sure even the Catholics go that far. That sounds like the kind of thing they might teach in a madrass in Peshawar. You know, if they were Catholic.

I think that this paints with too broad of a brush. There are a billion or so Roman Catholics in the world, and we are used to the most educated of such. If we are talking about the six RC Supreme Court Justices, I think that you are probably correct. But, maybe not so for many of the millions of RC peasants in central and south America.

But, I will agree with Wyoming Girl that those of us from other traditions (e.g. Protestantism) question his legitimacy. In the firstg 300-500 or so years of the Christian Church, the Pope was merely one of four or five churh heads - Constantinople, Rome, Alexandria, Jeruselem, Antioch (I think), etc. All claiming legitimacy through Appostolic Succession. Ultimately, it was primarily a contest between Constantinople and Rome, with the others quickly falling to the rise of Islam, where they survive to this day, but greatly weakened due to their 13 centuries or so of second class citizenship.

There are a lot of theories why Rome began to dominate the other churches, and one of them is that the Roman Church grew in influence to fill the void left by the fall of the western Roman Empire. The eastern Roman Empire survived for another millenium, and the Orthodox church there had to vie with it for power for much of that time. Or, it could just be that the Roman Catholic Churh was the church for the western Roman Empire (i.e. central and western Europe), and their descendants were most of our ancestors, and went on to discover and conquer the Americas.

Jonas said...

"...singleness of lung..."

carrie said...

edutcher-I apologize for getting your name wrong. Sometimes it is hard . . .

MadisonMan said...

Catholics don't believe God picks the Pope. They believe the Holy Spirit influences the hearts of the electors, but they can be non-receptive to his influence.

I've read very interesting commentary this week on the Papacy of JP I -- and how his short papacy influenced the electors the next time around, and the Holy Spirit was mentioned several times.

I don't think anyone believes that God smote Albino Luciani, but some of those quoted said stuff that I could infer to mean that God was displeased with the Cardinals. Wish I could find the link. It was an interesting read.

Bruce Hayden said...

I guess I'm being too literal, but if God doesn't choose the Pope how can they expect the Pope to receive inspiration from God in directing the church?

I really don't see how different this is than so many others praying for guidance. I am pretty sure I remember both George W. Bush and Mitt Romney telling of asking for guidance through prayer. And, maybe they got guidance, or maybe they were just more able to commune with their subconsciouses.

dc said...

I was at the nbcnews website where the experts said that the new pope was likely to maintain the status quo on abortion and gay rights.

Man, I'd be lost without the experts.

wyo sis said...

I communicate with God through prayer, but I don't get answers to my questions for anyone other than myself. Presumably, since the Pope is asking for guidance for the church, his inspiration has to be of a different nature.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I'll usually wake up two or three times a night and I use the time for prayer.

I pray to God I'll go back to sleep.

Works every time.

Basil said...

All the attention this is getting is ridiculous. It exemplifies just how warped is the media's sense of priorities. If only it paid half as much attention to things that really matter (like taking the deficit seriously, exposing the truth about Benghazi, or F&F for that matter). The nation is the early stages of serious decline, and the media are just "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic" with what they insist on reporting as "news."

phx said...

If only it paid half as much attention to things that really matter (like taking the deficit seriously, exposing the truth about Benghazi, or F&F for that matter).

A lot of people would say the things that YOU say matter are insignificant compared to mankind's spiritual development.

I'm just sayin', maybe you'd enjoy reading something by Alexander Solzhenitsyn sometime.

Renee said...

We actually are called to defend homosexuals against unjust discrimination, but we are not going to rewrite marriage. Marriage according to Canon Law is focused and concise on its intent and purpose. It is not like the Church gives me a tax break or material benefit. The value of Catholic Marriage is specific that its designed for the openness to obligation to offspring. Same sex love does exist, but should be in expressed in a way God designed for us to love.

People freak out on the sexual no-no s, but fail to see how our focus on sexual satisfaction/selfish desires make us lonely. Friendship and love from family and neighbors really is lacking in secular culture.

Biff said...

A friend of mine is a journalist. Listening to him, one would think that no public figures ever have moments of authenticity (except for the President and Michelle Obama, of course).

bgates said...

Catholics Untroubled by Pope's Limited Capacity to Inspire

...

edutcher - it's a fair bet that any sentence that starts off with the sentiment "this isn't intended as an insult" is going to be construed as an insult. It turns out this is especially true for statements that link somebody to the Nazis.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

bgates said...

Catholics Untroubled by Pope's Limited Capacity to Inspire

Not surprising the commentators talk about this. They spent a good bit of time talking about the previous pope's failure to expire.

SGT Ted said...

Or, the Pope just went back to his Hotel and took care of his bill and luggage, like normal folk do and the press projected their emotions into the event.

Edwin den Boer said...

The article also mentions "a Vatican bureaucracy in need of sore reform." Interesting mistake.

ed said...

@ Althouse

So your view of the pontiff is predisposed by how his actions are reported?

Welcome to the low information voter rolls.

MadisonMan said...

Catholics Untroubled by Pope's Limited Capacity to Inspire

Given that he's one-lunged, a better phrase would be that I'm untroubled by his limited capacity to respire.

creeley23 said...

This is the first pope to take the name Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi -- arguably the most important and Christ-like saint since the Apostles.

In his time St. Francis renewed a corrupt Roman Church with the sheer power of his love, faith, humility and compassion.

I have no idea how well this pope will manage to guide the Church today, but I daresay he is a serious man who means to meet those challenges as St. Francis did by emphasizing Christian love and faith. We will hear more calls from this pope to love one another and take care of each other, especially the poor.

Those who expect Pope Francis to reform the Church by liberalizing it will be disappointed.

This may be an interesting pope to watch.

Crunchy Frog said...

"When you pay your hotel bill, do not be like the hypocrites, who wave their rental receipts on the street corners for all to see. Truly I tell you, they have their reward points. But when you swipe your credit card, do it in secret, and your Father will store up for you frequent flyer miles in Heaven"

kentuckyliz said...

He refused to live in the bishop's residence in Buenos Aires. He did his own cooking. There is nothing new that he is doing...he is just carrying on like he has.

The SS may have been modeled on the Jesuits, but they were modeled on the military, so there ya go. Full circle. St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, was a recovering injured soldier when he had a conversion of heart.

carrie said...

Wouldn't it be great if we had a President who believed in the Jesuit value of simple living?