The other day I saw a picture of some guy who used to be a strong Catholic convert who had jumped off the bridge into sedevacantism.

For those not in the know, sedevacantism is the belief that the see of Peter is vacant. There is no valid pope. Sedevacantists differ about who the last valid pope was but most pick Pius XII. As time goes on sedevacantists must conclude that there are fewer and fewer “real” bishops and priests left.

I remember having dinner with a pretty famous Hollywood actor. When I asked where he went to Mass on Sunday he said conspiratorially, “Well, I didn’t make it this Sunday because it’s increasingly difficult to find a real priest.”

Uh huh.

As increasing numbers of conservative Catholics become impatient with Pope Francis, I’m afraid this dilemma is becoming more acute. I hear rumblings and grumblings about the Pope, about Amoris Letitia and just about everything else, and the grumblings are becoming increasingly sour and nasty.

But what are you going to do, become a sedevacantist? Good luck with that.

In fact, if you’re so fed up with the pope you should make that choice. Is he the pope or not?

Conservative Catholics need to face the truth. Francis is the Pope. Get used to it and get busy being Catholic.

You think Pope Francis is so bad? Read some church history. Pope Francis is not so bad.

Do you think there are heretics, traitors and weaklings amongst the clergy, the curia and the cardinals? Have you read the New Testament? Do you remember Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denial, Paul’s persecution of the church?

The church, from bottom to top is made up of saints and sinners. We’re all a work in progress, and we should get on with what God has given us to do. We should stop fussing about the pope and biting our nails over the headlines saying he did this or he did that and we should do what we can with what we have where we are.

That’s what the saints have always done. They’ve rolled up their sleeves and by God’s good grace have done what they can with what they have where they are.

You see, its real easy to sit on the sidelines and grumble about the ref. It’s harder to get out there and play the game.

My own personal opinion is that Pope Francis is my pope. Do I like Benedict XVI better? I do. That’s ok. Its okay to have a preference.

Can I listen and learn from Pope Francis? Sure. He’s my pope. Can faithful Catholics criticize the pope? Sure. That’s also part of being Catholic.

We’re a big Italian family. We fight sometimes. That’s how we love each other.

So pass the pasta and pray for your pastor.