From Mark Binelli’s Rolling Stone article on Pope Francis ahead of the visit to America
Boehner’s enthusiasm might have slightly dampened had the pope been able to enter the U.S. the way he’d originally hoped — via Mexico, crossing the border as a show of solidarity with immigrants. The idea was ultimately nixed because of logistical and scheduling difficulties. But the fact that it was floated at all is yet another illustration of Pope Francis’ brilliant understanding of his own power as a disrupter. During the two and a half years of his papacy, the unscripted, often radical words and actions of the pope have thrilled believers and nonbelievers alike, on a scale no contemporary religious leader other than the Dalai Lama has approached. “People who’ve thought of the church as the incarnation of evil at worst or the Easter Bunny with real estate at best have been telling me, ‘I love your pope!’ ” says Michael Sean Winters, a columnist at the National Catholic Reporter. And yet many conservative American Catholics — in particular, politicians — have found themselves unmoored by Pope Francis’ profound tonal shift.