In connection with my previous question about the meaning of “the Church’s existential problem”, there was the following sentence in the same article of Time Magazine (December 11, 2013) — “Pope Francis, The People’s Pope.”

“Through these conscious and skillful evocations of moments in the ministry of Jesus, as recounted in the Gospels, this new Pope may have found a way out of the 20th century culture wars, which have left the church moribund in much of Western Europe and on the defensive from Dublin to Los Angeles.”


As I have no knowledge about Christianity, I can’t make out why Dublin and Los Angeles were picked up out of many cities of “Western Europe and on the defensive.”

Is there specific reason for naming “Dublin to Los Angeles” here, not other cities, such as “Madrid to New York” being cited instead? Are these somehow metonyms for something else? Do Dublin and Los Angeles have some special connotation as a metaphor for the length and breadth of Christianity to English speakers, like how “from California to the New York Island” describes the span of the United States, how “from Land’s End to John o’ Groats” describes the span of the Isle of Britain, or even how “from Medina to Mecca” has a metaphoric meaning in Islam?

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is not about ELU. – Kris Feb 2 '14 at 7:04
  • @Tchirist. Thanks for your editing, which made the intent of my question much clearer. – Yoichi Oishi Feb 2 '14 at 23:59
  • @Kris. I’m asking what the names of cities represent for, not culture. If my question is regarded as off-topic because of being ‘cultural’ topic, I may not be allowed to ask the meaning of the idiom such as “Carry coals to Newcastle,” “Do Roman when you are in Rome.” – Yoichi Oishi Feb 3 '14 at 0:00
  • You have accepted an answer that is not about the English language, right? – Kris Feb 3 '14 at 5:54
  • Kris. Aren't Dublin and Los Angeles English words? I simply asked what the names of these cities represent for in the given context. What about “Carry coals to New Castle.” I don’t know why you are tenaciously following every my question. If you hate my asking a question, please don’t read it. I accepted the answer which was appreciated to be a good answer and supported by six members out of 65 members who were interested in this question including tchirist (who kindly took the labor of editing the question to make it more sence) and you. – Yoichi Oishi Feb 3 '14 at 6:55

Dublin and Los Angeles are among the (many, but certainly among the largest) cities where the church has faced legal action and complaints of child abuse, as well as allegations of significant financial fraud and personnel shuffling to cover up the allegations of abuse.

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    Yes. Los Angeles has also been called “the end of the world”, relative to modern human expansion – so the expression half-works on that level too. (”Los Angeles is like a beauty parlor at the end of the universe.” - Emily Mortimer) – ipso Feb 2 '14 at 12:49

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