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    Pope Francis in Cuba, Volkswagen’s lie, and more

    Pope Francis greeted children at the basilica of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre in Santiago de Cuba on Monday. Santiago was the pope’s last stop before heading to the US.
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    Pope Francis greeted children at the basilica of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre in Santiago de Cuba on Monday. Santiago was the pope’s last stop before heading to the US.

    Check out five opinions trending online, from a skeptical view of Carly Fiorina to Cardinal Bernard Law’s second act.

    The pope’s message in Cuba: In Cuba, Pope Francis is emphasizing the pastoral, in keeping with his credo, “choosing through mercy,” writes reporter John Allen for Crux. But because of the country’s history, many Cubans can’t help but hear a political message.

    “Cuba is a place with a difficult history, where public rhetoric rarely makes reference to concepts such as reconciliation, mercy, or turning enemies into friends. Even fairly boilerplate Christian spirituality in such a setting can come off, for many people, as an act of defiance. Granted, Francis is a politically savvy figure who perhaps understood that his words might be open to that interpretation. The fact that he didn’t supply it himself, but rather allowed Cubans to draw their own conclusions, simply validates the thesis that pastoral points in certain situations inevitably have political edge.” Read more.


    “Sickening” sex abuse in Afghanistan: Reports of sexual abuse of children by Afghani soldiers are “sickening,” writes the editorial board of the New York Times in today’s editions.

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    “The Pentagon’s indulgent, even complicit, attitude toward pedophiles among the Afghan militias that it funded and trained is indefensible, at odds with American values and with international laws Washington has taken the lead in promoting.” Read more.

    What the professor said: Yale management professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld’s phone rang off the hook after Donald Trump cited his work in attacking Carly Fiorina’s record. Sonnenfeld stands by his criticism and explains more in an article in Politico. It’s about failed leadership, sketchy metrics, and a refusal to learn from mistakes, the professor writes.

    “Properly mastered, failure is a badge of honor for heroic leadership. People like Steve Jobs, Martha Stewart, Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, Anne Mulcahy of Xerox, and Ellen Kullman of DuPont have all faced crushing adversity and rebounded from it. Walt Disney, Henry Ford, and four US presidents — Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Thomas Jefferson, and William McKinley — all suffered bankruptcies. The difference between these people and Fiorina is that they all acknowledged their failures and learned from them, providing us with inspiring models of resilience. Fiorina thinks she can sweep obvious public facts of failure under the carpet. But what she doesn’t see is that talking about failure makes you stronger; hiding it makes you weaker. Fiorina’s denials inspire no one.” Read more.

    Cardinal Law’s second act: Writing for WBUR, David Boeri reports on Cardinal Bernard Law soft landing as pastor of a glorious, gilded papal basilica in Rome.


    “And yet, in a church where all roads lead to Rome, his catastrophic administration and disgrace in Boston was treated more like a flare-up in the provinces. The newspaper of the Vatican Congregation of Bishops put his resignation on page 17. A poster boy for the sexual abuse scandal in one country, Law came to another, the Vatican, in May 2004, where protected and assisted by friends and allies he actually became more influential than he had ever been in Boston.” Read more.

    Volkswagen’s lie: The editorial board of BloombergView condemns Volkswagen for its “breathtaking pattern of duplicity” in faking emissions data.

    “Volkswagen has been cheating on its US government emissions tests for years. And it was a small, independent research institution, not the Environmental Protection Agency, that caught VW in the act. Which of these facts you find more offensive depends in part on your view of which is worse: corporate malfeasance or government incompetence. There’s no right answer. In this case, however, the facts argue for a criminal investigation of Volkswagen — which the Justice Department has already begun.” Read more.

    Ellen Clegg is Editorial Page editor of The Boston Globe. To suggest a publication or topic for review, e-mail ellen.clegg@globe.com.