From a Reddit thread about the new pope:
You may “not get it” because Catholicism defies modern notions of “progressive” or “conservative.” Pope Francis appears to confound many people by talking peace and love and nonjudgment , preaching against the evils and excesses of capitalism , and then calling abortion “horrific ” and expressing “shock ” at the idea of gay adoption in Malta. Some people have called him a “liberal.” He is not a liberal. Nor is he a conservative, or a progressive, or a Marxist, or any of the rest of it. He’s the Pope. He is an elected monarch, sitting on a throne that was fifteen hundred years old when the continent he was born on was discovered by the people of Europe. He was made a bishop by a bishop who was made a bishop by a bishop… and so on… who was made a bishop by Christ himself .
The Church has clawed its way through two thousand years of history. It survived the horrors of Roman persecution , the fall of the West , a millennium of dangerous entanglement in European feudal politics , theGreat Schism , the Western Schism , the Reformation , and the modern age . The Papacy has raised its fist and sent thousands to conquer foreign lands , it has led armies on horseback , and has lived as a Prisoner in the Vatican . The Papacy supported hundreds of scientists that helped usher in a modern age of astronomy, physics, chemistry, genetics, and science, and fought like a wounded animal against the rise of democracy in Europe and elsewhere .
It, and Catholicism as a doctrine, does not fit your modern political categories. It towers over you–the standing, living pillar of a dead empire. It will not fit in your box.”