Political science professor Thomas F. Schaller’s latest Baltimore Sun column takes a personal approach to examining the selection of Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as pope, now known as Pope Francis. After reflecting on his own Catholic upbringing and how his religious identity has changed over time, Schaller highlights Pope Francis’ reputation for humility and what it might mean for the Catholic Church.
“It’s encouraging to have a humble, fresh face from the ‘new world’ heading the Catholic Church,” writes Schaller, continuing, “What’s unclear is whether Pope Francis’ background and temperament can actually reform the Vatican and the church, and guide the planet’s 1.2 billion Catholics toward a more promising future.”
In addition to the Sun column, this week Schaller also wrote a guest column for Sabato’s Crystal Ball on multiple-member districts (MMDs), or statewide at-large U.S. House districts — their history, their decline and their possible future.
Earlier this week, Schaller also contributed to the CBS-DC news story, “Maryland Becoming More Liberal.” “This is not the Democratic Party of William Donald Schaefer anymore,” he said, referring the former Maryland governor who endorsed George H.W. Bush. Schaller added, “It’s a blue state, but the blue hue is getting darker over time because of the demographics of the state.”