Friday, March 15, 2013

Feelings and Pope Francis

by Ryan

“How do you feel about the new Pope?”

Needless to say, it’s a question I’ve heard plenty the last two days. One part of me wants to say “Well, I love that Pope Francis seems very humble, a paragon of simple Christian faith, a man devoted to penance, a man who has been courageous in the face of secularism, a man who…”

Source: Catholic Memes

On the other hand, there’s a part of me that says, “The Pope’s the Pope.”

Leading up to the conclave, I, like many Catholics, had my favorites: Cardinal O’Malley, Cardinal Burke, or maybe it would be cool to have an African Pope, such as Cardinal Turkson or Cardinal Sarah.

One might wonder if I have mistaken the selection of a new Pope for Election 2012.

Source: Catholic Memes

I have become increasingly frustrated during the last few weeks with secularists who see this new election only in terms of sexual license: Will the new pope be LBGT friendly? Will he change the Church’s teaching about marriage? Will he soften the Church’s teaching on contraception? Also discussed were women’s ordination, the Church’s perceived wealth in the face of such poverty in the world, and other variegated issues.

Instead of trying to answer these charges in my post, I ask instead — are we any better?

I do not mean “any better” in terms of beliefs, but of actions: Haven’t many Catholics (myself included) also politicized this process of electing a new Pope with the insertion of our opinion on the matter? In wishing for the Pope to be an advocate of such and such position, am I really any different than the secularist — putting the office of Pope under the microscope of personal preference?

Perhaps my second mindset of “The Pope’s the Pope” is closer to a healthy attitude. However, I’d like to add one slight addendum: “The Pope’s the Pope, and I shall pray for his ministry often.”

Source: Catholic Memes


  1. Whatever our feelings about the new Pope, he takes over the Church at a very difficult time.

    Let us pray for him.

    God bless.

  2. I like our new Pope. At first I had *no clue* who he was though!! I've spent the last couple days reading up on him and I really do like him. :)

    A friend of ours, Fr. H. had something great to say, "If your first thought, or even your second or third or fourth or fifth though, is something along the lines of, "How will Pope Francis affect my favorite causes in the Church?", then here's a hint: You're doing it wrong." :)

    He needs our prayers.

    1. Right on, Fr. H.! How strange that we think in these terms- as if he were no different than a politician.

  3. We live and breathe in a world that looks at everything in terms of leveraging one personal goal or another. Part of conversion seems to be learning how to care about God's purposes (even when we don't know what they are) more than our own (even when we think that our purposes are probably the same as God's).