It’s no secret, even to Pope Francis himself, that he hasn’t made any friends in the right-wing of the Catholic Church, nor has he ever made such an effort to do so, and this isn’t the first time in the history of the Church we’ve had a Pope that many of the faithful wanted out. To the Holy Father’s credit, he is everything you’d expect an America (North or South) Jesuit to be; that is, philosophically heavy on the ‘whys’, extremely light on the ‘hows’, and sprinkled with overtones of progressivism. Also to his credit of being confidently comfortable with himself and his ideology, Francis has always been true to himself and his mandate to reform the Church in his image.
When you want someone’s attention or you want to feel welcomed and included by them, but you feel as though they always have their back turned towards you, it hurts worse the longer that rejection seems to persist. I don’t care if it’s from your spouse, your dog, or your Pope; no one wants to feel like a stranger in their own home.
Donald J. Trump supporters and Tea Partiers want to take this country back from the liberals and socialists and make America Great Again. Conservative Catholics want to take our Church back from these liberal and neo-heretical priests and bishops and make our Church Holy and set apart again. I know many Catholics who can’t wait for a new Pope. It doesn’t stop (some of) them from praying for Francis, and they (hopefully all) aren’t plotting against him, but they (about 30%) would lay on a bed of nails and eat horse dung for a year just to have Benedict XVI back for one day. Up that number to 100% if they could have Raymond Cardinal Burke as they new Pontiff.
It is easy to tell a faithful conservative Catholic that they shouldn’t feel that way, but how has that ever worked out for you when you told someone that they shouldn’t ‘feel’ that way? Emotions supported by objective facts are legitimate; inasmuch as they are a waste of valuable time if they don’t lead to positive action.
There was an interesting discussion about all of this on my Facebook Page, which is posted below. Melissa Gustafson said it was merely ‘human’ [to want better]. Cary Dabney, who has a MDiv from Harvard Univ. says he only prays for Pope Francis, rather than his successor. Joe Di Nardo, said that it’s the Catholic thing to do to pray away a pontiff who is hurting the Church. I’m sure there was a lot of that during the Middle Ages when we had Pope who were doing great harm to the faith. Suzanne Fortin opines with sarcasm, “I can’t wait for my present husband to die so that I can marry someone else. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it?” Click the link below to see the whole conversation and tell us your thoughts:
As for me, I entered the Church when Pope Benedict XVI was our Holy Father, and he was part of the reason I was comfortable entering the Church during the height of the clergy sex abuse scandal. I probably wouldn’t have come into the Church under Francis. He’s just far too confusing for me. There’s simply no clarity in anything he says. And I’m someone who needs clarity and clear logic. That being said, if I knew who the next Pope would be, I suppose I would either drool for him or cry out in misery. But I don’t know who it would be, so all I can do right now is pray for the Pope I have. Like Ginny Knoll said, “Since the Pope is imperfect and needs a savior as we do, I wouldn’t think it’s unethical [to want a new one], just sad that we feel this way.”