When I keep asking where the Francis effect is for various groups of marginalized Catholics (like the black Catholics about whom Anthea Butler writes with first-hand testimony, or survivors of childhood clerical sexual abuse, or Catholic women and millennials, or native Americans, or divorced Catholics, or LGBT Catholics), I'm not blaming the pope for these problems. They're problems with and within the Catholic church in the U.S. I'm simply stating that talk about the Francis effect that is pure media spin, disembodied hype that overlooks the real-life situation of American Catholics in all their diversity, will hide those problems, pretend they do not exist, compound them — and pretending is not what we need.
It's never the way to build a healthy anything.
The photo of Pope Francis on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, 28 January 2014, is by Stefano Spaziani.