Both of them have a rightful claim to the world's stage and on another occasion they would only have had to joust with Donald Trump for front page news and airtime on the network broadcasts. Trump would have been buried in either case, and that is a break all Americans needed, however one might feel about this aspirant for the presidency.
I suspect Trump would have been highly interested in Catholicism if he had heard about the canonization of a new saint. Among other things, you are supposed to have been credited with two miracles to qualify. He could easily cite the last two Gallup Polls as evidence of Trump fulfilling that requirement. Since he also recently claimed that he had nothing for which to ask forgiveness, it would appear that Donald Trump could well be a candidate for sainthood. Better a saint than president, one is tempted to observe, at the risk of sounding snarky.
I have been transfixed by the arrival of Pope Francis, his first visit on American soil. The reception by the 78 million Catholics in the United States is perhaps predictable, although the church has been experiencing significant losses as a result of the sexual abuse scandals involving Catholic priests, and the resulting coverup attributed to the church's hierarchy. Pope Francis has moved resolutely to resolve the problem, beginning with asking forgiveness of both God and the victims.
But it has not been just Catholics rejoicing in the visit of this good and humble man. The media, usually jaded by matters religious, has been almost fawning in its coverage. One suspects that reporting on the American political scene leaves one yearning for words of hope, softly spoken, and sincerely lived.
Now some spoilsports at the New York Times have done research that shows that some of Yogi's sayings didn't come from Yogi at all. In some respects it doesn't really matter; we don't just read those quotes, we "hear" them and it is always Yogi we hear. Even he acknowledged that he may not have been the source of all those sayings, admitting such in a book entitled, The Yogi Book: I Really Didn’t Say Everything I Said!
I recognize that it is a little unusual to be mentioning Yogi Berra and Pope Francis in the same sentence, especially in reference to their use of words. But listening to the message being eloquently delivered by the Pope this week, I think there are a few Yogi-isms that are Pope-worthy.
- The Pope declared that he was anxious to engage in a time of listening and sharing. Yogi said, “You can observe a lot by watching.”
- The Pope talked about the direction of the church. Yogi cautioned, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”
- The Pope invited the faithful to keep moving forward. Yogi warned, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
- The Pope acknowledged that many had erred and made mistakes. Yogi commiserated, noting that "If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be."
And finally, the Pope took on his critics and at the same time impressed the faithful with his openness and his loving spirit.
As Yogi said, “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”