Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

At the risk of sounding like Sancho... "I like him, I really like him"

USCatholic, which can be depended upon to have the wrong take on almost everything except social justice issues, (on which they are almost always right,) suggests we take a survey to "rate the Pope.

I think, and said so in the question that asked us to give the Holy Father a grade, that it was unseemly to "rate" him, but I did answer questions, which made me reflect on him, in a good way.

I am by nature judgey. I have to fight against my tendency to "keep score" in relationships, (a friend whose life was saved by a 12 step program calls it "taking other people's inventory," so I think that may be the AA lingo for the same activity?)

I don't know if this is a universal experience but even with those I most love -- perhaps especially with those one most loves, because one spends so much time with, and thought on, them -- numerically the points against predominate.
But that gives the wrong impression because even if at times fewer in number  the pros drastically outweigh the cons.
A thousand thousand failures to...  say, return milk to the refrigerator? it's nothing compared to a single smile.
On balance -- it's love.

So I am very glad I took the survey and thought about me and Uncle Frank, because at the end of the day, I love him.

Many of the questions were agree/disagree or multiple choice, and no ones fault, the choices were very simplistic; there's no other way to word them, almost all answers seemed to demand an explanation, a mitigation of what seemed on surface either praise or condemnation.
(There was also plenty of Phil Indeblanc's work.)

Pope Francis represents a major change in the direction of the church?
Disagree, he represents a new way for non- and dissenting Catholics to misrepresent actual Church teaching.

By now, I expected that Pope Francis would have made more concrete changes in the church.
Disagree, one might hope, but surely not expect more rapid progress in reform of Church governance.
I think the refusal of msm and even Catholic media to accept the difference between what the Church is free to change and what She may not has been a great distraction for the Holy Father and the Church in general.

The widespread media coverage of Pope Francis has been:
Harmful because the media often misrepresents what Francis says. But also helpful because you cant speak to someone without getting his attention, and Pope Francis has certainly done that.

The comments Pope Francis has made on controversial topics often distort church teaching. -
I think besides deliberate, or at least unprofessional misreporting, some of the ocntroversy may be generated by a certain casualness, not to say carelessness in the way the Pope expresses himself.
However, I don't read Italian, Spanish or German, and I am not convinced his words are always translated correctly, either by official or unofficial sources.

The area where I would most like to see more action from Pope Francis is:

I believe the Eucharistic Liturgy is the source and summit of our Faith, and clearer and more explicit teaching, (and example,) on the Liturgy and the Sacraments would go a long way to sanctifying the people of God so that we would more readily take up our mission.
Sometimes his big and wonderful personality can distract from that.
You adore the Blessed Sacrament, you kiss a parrot - which picture is going to make the news?

I think Pope Francis’ frequent off-the-cuff interviews and informal approach have:
Made the papacy much more appealing to the average Catholic.
But being appealing is not an absolute value.

I have been inspired by Pope Francis’ humble and simple lifestyle
Disagree, inspired to what?
It doesn't mean a whole lot more than President Carter carrying his own garment bag,  Bush clearing brush or Pope Benedict walking over to his old apartment to pick up some papers or riding on a bus.
It's the stuff of photo-ops if it's played that way, (and if it weren't played that way, in most cases we wouldn't even know about it.)

I believe that Francis will make major reforms in the Vatican during his papacy.
Agree, I have great hopes for more stream-lined and accountable Church governance.

Pope Francis doesn’t speak enough about abortion.
 I disagreed
I don't know if he does or not.
I might say, he doesn't speak LOUDLY enough - again, if his more quotable remarks take the focus off matters that are truly life or death, I don't know if he is giving the subject short shrift, or it is just not being reported.
Did he ever speak out on the abominable Belgian bill concerning assisted suicide for children?
Not that I could ever read anywhere.

I find Pope Francis’ comments on homosexuality and same-sex relationships troubling.

Not at all - he merely expressed Church teaching, albeit, not as eloquently as he could have, leading to misunderstanding.

 I think Pope Francis is causing too much division within the church.

Until the parousia She, and really, the entire world, will always suffer from division.
(And I wish USCatholic would capitalize.)
Division is caused by those who deliberately divide themselves from the Church and what She teaches.

One thing about Pope Francis that has been a disappointment to me is…

Did any of us know enough about him to have expectations, and thus, disappointments?
Not I.
I could wish he would perform his task as celebrant with a little more attention to liturgical niceties because the Holy Mass is not a random collection of arbitrary references obeying arbitrary rubrics, (this would also be an outstanding sign that the pope is the servant of the Liturgy, not its master,) and that he would acknowledge the weight people may inadvertently give the words of a pope by expressing himself a little more carefully.

I like His palpable joy in the Gospel.

I'm learning not to jump to conclusions about people based on secondary and even tertiary sources.

I hope for reconciliation with the Orthodox, the Anglicans, the SSPX, Lutherans.... you name'm, (hope, not expect.)

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