thoughtfulNever forget that verse from the gospel, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you.”

For the first two years of his papacy Pope Francis seemed therefore to bringing woe onto himself.

Everyone was speaking well of him.

This CNN article points out how things are changing. Pope Francis is getting schtick from both conservatives and liberals.

My response is, “Whoa! No more Woe!”

From the conservatives: This article by George Will rubbishing the pope’s encyclical with a click bait headline “Pope is False Prophet” Catholic Congressman Paul Gosar is opting out of the Pope’s speech to Congress because he disagrees with the Pope as does Catholic presidential candidate Chris Christie who says, “I just think the Pope is wrong.”

The conservatives aren’t happy with the Pope’s views on economics and global warming while the liberal love affair with the Pope is cooling. It seems this revolutionary pope of reform is  not really going to change anything at all. William Saletan at Slate opines, “Pope Francis is not the liberal rock star American Catholics think he is.

Temperamentally, Francis does have liberal tendencies. He regrets the authoritarian way he governed as a young Jesuit leader. He wants to be open and collegial. He accepts criticism, seeks dialogue, and tries to learn from it. When Catholics disagree, he tries to focus them on respect, love, and mercy.

But if you look at his record, you’ll see limits to his openness. Take homosexuality. The quote that endeared Francis to liberals was: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis later explained his question this way: “When God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person? We must always consider the person.” The key word here is existence. Francis was forswearing condemnation of the whole person, not judgment of homosexual behavior. He was repackaging what conservative Christians have always said: love the sinner, not the sin.

The Pope should upset both the liberals and conservatives. He should because he’s Catholic.

The Catholic way is not left wing or right wing. It is not an ideology. Continue Reading