25 July 2013

Apparently, we're getting Pope Francis wrong....ooooor maybe, just maybe, he's doing things to promote this image?

There was an article that I read in first things, claiming that we're getting things wrong about Pope Francis: Alas, I think I should respond...

1. Francis is anti-Benedict XVI

Just because someone "likes" or "respects" someone, doesn't mean they share the same viewpoints on issues of the day. If you want an example of this how about the friendship of Fr Hans Küng and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI...they were classmates and are friends, but the two have completely different viewpoints of the Church.

I most certainly think Pope Francis respects Emeritus Benedict XVI, but I most certainly do not thik that there's an automatic implication that he agrees with everything that Emeritus has said and done...and if that isn't obvious, let me help :)

  • The immediate change to the Papal Inauguration ceremony changing the public obedience of every cardinal to just a few....(while it could have very well been a practical matter)...there was a reason that Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI changed the ceremonial back to the original form...clearly he had seen the massive disobedience and wanted to restore public acknowledgement of every one's obedience to the Holy Father. 
  • For not being a Liturgist, you'd think he'd leave things to the MC and resign himself to the rubrics of Holy Mother Church...not quite so much: the deliberate disobeying of the rubrics on Holy Thursday (and don't make any excuses for him being in a prison, he knows better)...being the Pope is not merely being another Bishop amongst Bishops, but the vicar of Christ....if he really agreed with the Emeritus Pope on matters Liturgical, he wouldn't have touched ANYTHING! (I thought we had reached Papal Liturgical Lows under JPII...until this image...

  • While he did publish Lumen Fidei...(and outside of his additions, I liked it)...quite frankly that was the logical thing for him to do, there was a finished encyclical, it only made sense to publish it....in particular in the Year of the Faith, and if he didn't publish it, there would have been an incompleteness to the Year of Faith...It would make no logical sense to change the substance of the Emeritus' work while he's alive, and could easily make Pope Francis' life a living nightmare (he wouldn't; not in the person of the Emeritus Pope, but possibilities are there)
  • I tend to think if the world likes someone, that the particular someone is doing something wrong. To seek popularity for the sake of popularity is horrible. I most certainly know that the Pope has no control over how the media portrays him, but he DOES have control over what HE says and does....there is such a thing as speaking too much, I think the recording of the daily homilies is a BAD idea....too much can be brought into them....
2. Pope Francis is not a culture warrior

Perhaps, as good intentioned as it is to not usurp the local Bishop in their own battles, sometimes it is necessary to use the big sticks and speak on these particular things. He's certainly spoken as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, I'll concede that point, but that said, an address intended for universal audiences has not been done....It doesn't mean it's a bad thing, it simply means that as far as public pronouncements on these issues, we should expect less of them. 

In other words, the fight is with us, and we are supposed to do the fighting for these particular issues and policy changes....probably as it should be, but it's nice to know that we have support from the Holy Father :D.

3. Pope Francis is a "Social Justice" Pope

Well, let's be honest, he's talked a lot about it, from the type of cars we drive, to not forgetting the hungry, or the immigrants. I'm not going to dismiss them, but I will say these are matters of prudential judgement...on which people can disagree. 
  • I have zero idea why we're trying to be "popular" or with it, the Church is the Church, and she will always be hated, let's just get over that right away. The car that one drives, while the "image" may be tarnished, if the car serves the mission, why bash it? 
  • Certainly we are to feed the hungry as this one of the works of mercy, but it does not say how to do such....Should the government do this? Should private organizations? Should we as individuals? there can be disagreement on how to do this. 
  • A nation has a right to secure its borders. A nation should also be friendly to those that come seeking a better life, but to those that do not follow the laws? What should we do? We can't award them amnesty for breaking the law....bottom line, laws are to be followed, otherwise they are to be changed to better suit the situations at hand. 
The fact that Cardinal Mahony rejoiced at his election...tells me just about everything I need to know...

4. Pope Francis will be more generous towards dissenters...

On this I agree on, Pope Francis has called for obedience several times during this pontificate, and I think he will continue to do this. That said, all the wrong people are rejoicing...and that makes me sick to my stomach....I'm starting to think that this pope is our chastisement as a Church....Let me be wrong, please :)

5. Pope Francis loves the world

Well, to be fair, he's an extrovert, and needs to be with people (extroverts give me headaches as a rule :p, (so yes, that means JPII gave me a fair amount of headaches too))...so that has something to do with it....the others:
  • Visiting the prison...On HOLY THURSDAY...he could have went the day before,  another day, but not on the date of the Institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood
  • Giving his security team headaches....He's no longer the no-name Bishop of an unknown diocese...being the Pope means there will be a giant target on your back....don't let your death be accidental...I mean goodness, we want you alive Holy Father...:)
  • The constant photo ops, it is one thing to kiss babies, previous Popes have done so too, but it's constant to the point of annoyance...it's probably my own introverted, I get sick of people weakness :)...
  • All of the liberal cardinals, and all of the media love him...which probably means something....You can tell a lot about a person by who praises them, and who crucifies them...
To be fair, he may not be all of these things, but the images don't help, and sometimes, his words don't help either...God have mercy on me a sinner, for I have sinned without numbeer. 

And some may say, oh you miss Pope Benedict XVI, and to that, I say darn straight I do...Emeritus Pope shares my personality type. (ISTJ)...And I related to the Emeritus extremely well...and I do not have the same warmth for Pope Francis...I do have the same love, as he's the vicar f Christ and we do owe him obedience...

To be fair, he may not be all of these things, but the images don't help, and sometimes, his words don't help either...God have mercy on me a sinner, for I have sinned without numbeer. 

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