May 19th, 2015
‘The Francis Effect’–Now on Twitter!
May 19th, 2015
This story by Matthew Gambino is a classic:
A journalist who has been covering the Vatican for more than 20 years has never seen anything like the effect Pope Francis is having on the world.
John Allen, a veteran Vatican watcher formerly with the National Catholic Reporter newspaper and now with Crux, a Catholic news website of the Boston Globe newspaper, points to two facts about the pope’s huge popularity.
At 19 million followers on the social media site Twitter, the pope is “the most popular spiritual leader on the planet,” Allen said. That’s more followers on Twitter than the next highest such leader, the Dalai Lama (10 million), but in the middle of the pack with basketball star LeBron James and pop singer Miley Cyrus, also at 19 million.
A more solid measure of popularity is a Pew Foundation study cited by Allen that showed an astronomical 80 percent approval rating among all United States citizens, and 90 percent among American Catholics.
Nowhere in the piece–nowhere–does Gambino mention the fact that the attrition rate among American Catholics has dramatically increased under Francis for the first time in years. And it’s not like Gambino didn’t try to look at actual numbers:
The much-touted “Francis effect” has at this point led more to a greater curiosity in the Catholic Church, more so than in actual church attendance, although half of the pastors in the Diocese of Rome have reported an increase in attendance, Allen said.
Again: We don’t need anecdotes! We have actual numbers! And the numbers tell us that “Catholicism is losing members faster than any denomination.”
But you know, Pope Francis has totes got the Twitter working. So who needs people in the Church and receiving the Eucharist? That’s so 2005.0 comments
More ‘Dadly Virtues’
May 15th, 2015
Over at the Free Beacon there’s an adaptation of Matt Continetti’s chapter up–it’s great. And the Standard has an excerpt from my introduction to the book. Which, by the by, will be “officially” on sale next week.0 comments
There Is No ‘Francis Effect’
May 14th, 2015
Or at least, not the kind that people say there is.
The next time someone pushes “the Francis Effect” around by way of explaining how super-duper awesome and popular
Pope Tambourine the Holy Father is, please send them to this piece about how, just within the last couple years, the net attrition rate for American Catholics has increased.
This doesn’t prove that Francis is responsible for these losses, but at the very least it puts the lie to the idea that Francis has been the source of a resurgence for the Church as New York Times editors and anti-fracking environmentalists across our fruited plains suddenly lifted their hearts to Rome.0 comments
How to Run the GOP Debates
May 14th, 2015
Jonathan Martin has a piece on the logistical problems with running a series of GOP presidential debates where there are 12 (or even 17) candidates.
My (only) half joking idea is to run them like the English Premier League: Start by having two tiers of debates for candidates, based on their national poll numbers. Say, Tier A for candidates over 5 percent and Tier B for candidates below that.
Run the A and B debates in the same venue on consecutive days.
And after each series, you relegate the worst two performers from Tier A to the B pool, and elevate the top two performers from Tier B to the A pool.
I know what you’re thinking. How do we decide who these top-two/bottom-two finishers are? Easy: Twitter.3 comments
May 13th, 2015
BREAKING: Vatican officially recognizes `state of Palestine’ in new treaty.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 13, 2015
It would be pretty funny if someone would go and photoshop David Souter onto the throne of Peter.1 comment
May 12th, 2015
Last night was the AEI launch for Dadly Virtues and it was pretty great: a nice crowd, lots of laughs, no hugging or learning. And then Tucker happened.
Here’s my gift to you: Below is the full event (which will air on C-SPAN eventually) but if you cut to the 52:00 mark, you get to Tucker Carlson’s unbelievably awesome performance piece.
If this doesn’t make you want to buy the book, then I’m all out of ammo.0 comments
May 8th, 2015
I’m gratified that The Dadly Virtues seems to be doing okay. Better than okay, even, because as of just now it’s a “#1 New Release” on Amazon! In the category of . . . Wait for it . . .