Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pope Francis has been pope for what, four months now?

Another Canadian blogger referred to him as "confounding".  That word perfectly describes my feelings toward the Pope, too.

Pope Francis becoming fodder for blogs and homilies.  His style is so markedly different from that of Pope Emeritus Benedict XIV that comparisons are nearly impossible to avoid.  Those comparisons also occurred between Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II.

It distresses me that so many see the papacies of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis as an either/or situation.

They are two different men with two different backgrounds and styles.  We could add Pope JPII in there and make it three.

All of the popes I recollect (and that number is growing!) have been different in styles and all, perhaps excepting John Paul I have weathered some sort of critical situation.  All have managed to seriously annoy some quarter of the population, Catholic or otherwise.

We must either trust that the Holy Spirit knows what it's doing or we don't.

Pope Francis is the Pope.  So was Benedict.  They will or have done fantastic things and have or will probably commit some very human screw-ups.

We have a very limited part of the "Big Picture" available to us, due to our ages, backgrounds, linguistic limitations and prejudices of some sort or another.

I really think we need to remember that when we make comments about what this or that pope said or did. We must also remember how selective the media can be.  Pictures of Pope Francis doing this or that treat the situations as something novel.  Frequently all that is novel is that Pope Francis is doing them, but what is implied is that Pope Francis is doing something that Pope Benedict did not, such as hugging a handicapped person.

We must remember to be charitable and to remember that there are many things we do not know about what is going on with any Pope, and within the spiritual realm in which they spend so much of their time and energy.

We must be humble as they are humble.

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