(Article changed on September 20, 2013 at 16:46)
A lengthy interview of Pope Francis was published in English in the Jesuit-sponsored magazine
Pope Francis is the first Jesuit to be elected pope. Unlike the Benedictines, the Franciscans, and the Dominicans, the Jesuits have no branch of women religious, just as the Roman Catholic Church has no women priests. In recent decades, women religious around the world have been far more credible witnesses to gospel teachings than have the all-male Catholic bishops and the all-male Catholic priests and the all-male Jesuits.
(Disclosure: Many years ago now, I was in the Jesuits for approximately eight years. However, for many years now, I have not been a practicing Catholic.)
Evidently, Pope Francis was not given the list of questions before the interview. As a result, his responses appear to be extemporaneous. But the Jesuit who conducted the interview did not ask Pope Francis many challenging follow-up questions -- asking him to clarify something obscure that he said or to give examples of what he meant. Why bother to have a face-to-face interview, if the interviewer does not ask any challenging follow-up questions?
For example, in response to the interviewer's question about who he is, Pope Francis first says that he is a sinner. Then upon further reflection, he adds, "Yes, perhaps I can say that I am a bit astute, [and] that I can adapt to circumstances, but it is also true that I am a bit naïve." Then he returns to the theme that he is a sinner. OK, at times, he is a bit astute. At times, he can adapt to circumstances. At times, he is a bit naïve. And the interviewer asks him no challenging questions aboutthese claims and certain other statements he makes.