The pope’s mask of benignity has fallen before. For my money, his cruelest and most telling encounter was with an innocent altar boy who held his hands together piously. The pope mocked the bewildered boy, asking him if his hands were “stuck together.” Only a liberal Jesuit would crack a joke like that at the sight of youthful reverence.Another ugly moment was the time he upbraided concerned Catholics in Chile for complaining about abuse cover-ups. He called them “dumb.” That too required an apology.  ….

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