In these ugly days, the hopeful heart searches for every bit of humanity to be found, however tenuous, anywhere. Amid all the heartless rant in Washington, Mrs. Clinton and the first Jesuit in the Vatican are among the few positive voices being heard.
In his wide-ranging talk in America magazine, one less-noted section was the Pope on women:
“The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions,” he said. “Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed. The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role. The woman is essential for the church. Mary, a woman, is more important than the bishops.”
But, one would ask, is a woman prepared to be America’s political pontiff? Hillary Clinton’s supporters certainly think so, and there are growing signs that she agrees.
Accepting an award at her alma mater Yale Law School last weekend, she was introduced by the dean who asked if she was ready to “add one more elusive line to her resume.“
The answer is clearly yes, although she says she will decide “sometime next year.” In her talk, Clinton was nostalgic: “It’s really hard to believe it’s been 40 years. I was driving a beat-up old car. I had a mattress tied to the roof. I was wearing my bell bottoms.”
Soon afterward she met “a Viking from Arkansas,” nodding at Bill Clinton who had surprised her by turning up for the ceremony. But for the most part she talked about how Yale had opened her eyes to child abuse and poverty and the importance of early childhood development.
“Because of the government shutdown,” she said, “nearly nine million women and children will soon be unable to buy healthy food and baby formula.”
While Clinton was at Yale back then, a newly minted Jesuit named Jorge Mario Bergoglio was studying in Buenos Aires after as a seminarian having been “dazzled by a girl I met at an uncle's wedding."
"I was surprised by her beauty, her intellectual brilliance,” he recalls and, “well, I was bowled over for quite a while...I kept thinking and thinking about her. When I returned to the seminary after the wedding, I could not pray for over a week because when I tried to do so, the girl appeared in my head. I had to rethink what I was doing."
Bergoglio did, went on to minister to the poor and now he is Pope Francis I. Hillary married her “Viking from Arkansas.” Now history may bring them together in a world neither could have imagined back then.
The year 2016 could produce a final scene for one of the most fascinating boy-meets-girl scripts ever written.