Pope Frank is a moderate according to the Guardian's Pontificator
- but this is a relative term, your average Cardinal being much more conservative than the average Catholic. So, don't expect an iota of compromise on contraception, abortion, the role of women or gay marriage. While being ultra-conservative on social issues, he is fairly left wing in other ways. Here is a typical quote:
The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers.
In many ways, he is likely to be a decent bloke. However, I'm expecting very little from his Pontificate; another lesson in the failures of moral absolutism, and why you shouldn't base your values on a particular interpretation of an ancient guidebook. Not everything he says will be worthless, and I hope he can at least put the Vatican's house in order a little. I just wish he and his ilk weren't so blinkered to realise the harm they sometimes do. Would it kill them to acknowledge that using a condom is less of a sin than risking the spread of AIDS?