Pope FrancisHas anybody else noticed the distinct reduction in temperature in the love affair between Pope Francis and the secular press?

Could it be that the fervor of the secular press for the man who made TIME magazine’s Person of the Year, made it on to the cover of Rolling Stone and the Gay Magazine, Advocate and has been lauded as a gay loving, tree hugging, easy going “hippie Frank” is cooling somewhat?

In the Phillipines the Pope was greeted with a record breaking multitude of millions who braved cold and rain to greet not only the Holy Father, but also to endorse his strongly pro family message. The super pope was championing traditional marriage–which is code for being disapproving of same sex unions. Furthermore he spoke openly (shock horror) against artificial contraception!!

Surely the Super Pope was only mouthing the platitudes he was supposed to mouth. Surely his minders gave him a speech to read and he was only toeing the party line. Right?

But if Pope Francis has proven anything in his nearly two years in office it is that he is his own man.

We have to conclude therefore that Pope Francis himself supports the positions he says he supports. In other words, the Pope is Catholic.

What a disappointment for those who would have drafted him as the poster boy for their progressive agenda.

I remember when the secular adulation of Pope Francis first began one older commentator observed, “It will all die down. They loved John Paul II too for the first few years.”

Now as the Slovaks vote on same sex marriage in a referendum Pope Francis has spoken out again in defense of marriage and the family. Then he said it was okay for parents to spank their kids!

What is emerging is the fact that both the progressives and conservatives in the United States do not really understand Francis. Both view him through the lens of their own cultural, political and religious ideologies.

When people stop and take time to really listen to Pope Francis and learn about him they will realize that he, like Benedict and John Paul II is a product of his time period and culture. All of us are. He seems progressive because he has the Latin American Catholic’s preferential option for the poor. He has lived through political and economic oppression of the poor and takes their side. He does so in a way that is similar to John Paul’s championing of the people of Poland under the communist regime. This is not Marxist, but simply the Pope standing with the ordinary man and woman. The progressives see his simplicity and compassion for the poor and assume that he is on board for the rest of their left leaning agenda. The conservatives bite their nails worrying that he is a secret Marxist.

Both sides should take a deep breath. The best thing that can happen now is for the progressive press to ease off their mindless adulation and begin really listening to Pope Francis.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea for the conservatives who distrust him to do the same.

They might learn something.

Image via Bing