Monday, September 15, 2014

Confused about Pope Francis

I am waiting to see who is going to write about this first.

I sincerely hope that Father Longenecker writes about it, and Father Zuhlsdorf. I am not even sure that Michael Voris will tackle this, as despite his readiness to criticize much that is going on in the Catholic Church,Voris seems reticent to actually criticize the Holy Father himself.

But I just find it incredibly confusing.

As I find much of the Holy Father's actions confusing.

I have hesitated to write about Pope Francis before, and this is not a criticism per se. But it is really reaching a point where I can't just remain silent any more.

I have endeavoured to restrain making judgements on our Pope. In fact, a friend of mine said if I said one thing about him that was negative, she would never speak to me again!  Probably an idle threat, but I took it seriously at the time.

However, two things stand out in my mind that seem to be real problems with Pope Francis. First, he has a South American view of the world and economics and politics. That may bring to the forefront the ideas of social justice, which are certainly important. But name one South American country that is a success.  Precisely. Not a single country south of the equator has managed to have an economy or a political situation that is worth emulating. Therefore I conclude that Pope Francis' world view is somewhat coloured by his own experience, and I don't trust that experience. Enough said about that.

Second, Pope Francis breaks with tradition a lot, he speaks off the cuff with journalists (which leads to lots of misinterpretation by the media), he does things his own way and is somewhat unpredictable.
None of those things are bad in themselves; however the conclusion that I have come to is that he is a spontaneous individual, perhaps even impetuous.

Of course, marrying 20 couples at St. Peter's yesterday, was not impetuous but required lots of planning. But the idea was his and he probably got the event orchestrated while many of the clergy around him were probably more than a little concerned about the impact of such a ceremony.

Does Pope Francis consider the consequences of his actions? Does he really think that the interpretations and misinterpretations that follow such actions are not that important?  Does he not realise that many of us will be left trying to explain such actions to our non-Catholic friends, even to our Catholic friends.

Being an impetuous person myself, I have come to realise that sometimes actions should be carefully weighed before undertaking them.  I only wish that Pope Francis would listen to some good advice, whereas he seems to be following his own inclinations most of the time.

I won't say more, I will wait to read what people whom I trust have to say about this.


Elena said...

I'm sorry, but I don't see what the problem is with marrying these couples. They have no impediments to marriage and the marriage is only helping right a crooked line. You have no idea what sort of marriage prep these couples have received or what the state of their souls or understanding of marriage was right before the reception of the sacrament. 90% of the couples that we bring throuhg marriage prep are living together and many have children. They are finally hearing the call to something more and we are there to help them understand what that something more is all about and if they are really called to it. Pope Francis did nothing wrong. Perhaps it will come off as another PR gaffe because of the way the secular media will portray it. But he has done what Fr. Hattie always said to do, Get them married and make her an honest woman. Remember, these couples are wearing their sins on the outside. Many of ours are much more hidden.

Julie Culshaw said...

I am not saying that Pope Francis did anything wrong. It is the publicity of the whole event that troubles me.

Would he marry 20 couples who didn't have problematic pasts? Who appeared to have followed Scriptural teaching on marriage and sexuality?

Somehow I doubt it, because it wouldn't get much publicity.

There is something about this that just smells wrong to me. It is as if Pope Francis likes to stir up controversy, but he doesn't explain himself to anyone.

Instead he leaves us with statements like the famous "who am I to judge?" In an age of confusion, I would sincerely hope that the main shepherd of the church would aim for clarity and vision, not just for those who have fallen away from the church, but for all of us.

I think this was unnecessary and it creates more problems than it corrects.

Anonymous said...

I understand how you feel Julie. With me it is a gut feeling or maybe it is my personal preference, but I always understood what Pope Benedict XVI said in his speeches or writings. Pope Francis however leaves me shaking my head and confused.


Julie Culshaw said...

We know a man who was a Pentecostal for many years and a minister in that denomination for 20 years. He became a Catholic two years ago. He told me that he would never have joined the RC church if Pope Francis had been the pope at the time. He came in under Pope Benedict and welcomed the firm stand that Pope B took, while so many other denominations were going soft on the issues of sexual morality.