Boy am I tired of online Catholics moaning and groaning about Pope Francis!
Think it through. It is only in our modern celebrity-media obsessed age that every Catholic thinks they have to listen to every word that drips from the lips of the Holy Father. Its only in the modern age, also, that the Pope had to be this nice guy who was instantly accessible to not only every Catholic, but every person around the world who longs for a spiritual leader.
Interviews on airplanes? Casual conversations reported everywhere? It’s like the poor old guy has got one of those clip on radio mikes attached to his collar and they left it turned on.
All his off the cuff remarks and slips of the tongue and casual comments?
Just take them or what they are and move on. You don’t have to rush to Twitter and Facebook and air your doubts and difficulties.
Vatican politics? Wheeling and dealing? Struggles between progressives and conservatives? When has it been any different? Don’t worry about it. That’s life. We’re Catholics. We’re like one of those big Italian families. We wave our arms about and fight with each other. So what?
The pope? The pope used to be an old guy in a white soutane who waved to people from the window of the apostolic palace, gave blessings, defended the faith when he had to and was happy to be the figurehead of our faith and the Vicar of Christ on earth.
You don’t like the pope? Well, have a good grumble among friends, pray about it, then just get on with the job you have to do as a good Catholic and don’t let him trouble you. He has his job. You have your job. Get on with it.
So you don’t like some of the stuff he says and does? How much does it really affect you? Probably not at all. I understand that it is upsetting, but does it affect your own life that much? More importantly, what can you do about it? Not much.
So my advice is, give Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt, thank God for the good stuff he does, pray for him when he slips up. Pray that he be delivered from the wolves, and do what you can with what you have where you are.
If one of your callings is to is make intelligent, informed criticisms of the pope, and you are in a position to do so, then that is part of your job and do it with grace and grit, humor and humility. That’s okay.
And remember, if you are a lay person, it might be your job to step up and take part in the “loyal opposition”. That’s okay too, but don’t allow yourself to get worn down in the battle. God is with his church. Continue to focus on the Lord and it will be all right.
Will the church go through trials and tribulations, darkness and difficulties? That’s part of the history and the mystery.
Finally. remember that Catholicism is true because it’s humble and it’s humble because it’s real and it’s real when it’s local. Keep up the good work: go to adoration. Continue to roll up your sleeves in the corporal works of mercy and keep the faith!