The Pope is nothing if not interesting. On one day he completely dismantles the Congregation of Divine Worship, seemingly a nod to the moderate/”liberal” arm of our Church, and then the very next day he basically comes out and says that women will never be Priests, which can’t make the progressive side of the fence all that happy.
Then, generally unprovoked, he talks about politics and building bridges instead of walls a couple days before U.S. elections, which might lead people to believe he is implying that Trump is not the preferred choice, while saying nothing about the anti-life policies and clear political corruption of Hillary.
From the start of his papacy, I have both appreciated and cringed with Pope Francis. But I have cringed more at some of the commentary about him.
Our Pope is the properly elected and valid Pope. There can be no question about this. I have been disturbed from day one that a lot of people who most adamantly lectured others about how they needed to respect Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI are some of the first to wring their hands over the unorthodoxy of Pope Francis.
Every Pope has his strengths and weaknesses, and none are perfect. Every Pope has a particular mission he feels called to. Most importantly, we all need to understand that our Pope is our current leader for a reason. We may not like the reason, but that may be part of why we need him at this time.
I do not see eye to eye with everything Pope Francis says and does. I’m not afraid to admit that. But I respect him as my Pope. There are times I wonder what the heck he’s doing. Which either means (1) I need to contemplate what he’s doing and try to get it, and have the humility to take a fresh p[perspective on some things, (2) he is just not the world’s greatest Pope in all ways, but God has him here at this time despite that because his strengths are what we most need, or (3) he’s causing confusion (not necessarily intentionally) and just isn’t a great Pope, but God is allowing it for some reason which will be evident. There is another option where he is purposefully sowing discord and disunity, but I honestly don’t believe that. That worst case scenario means it’s a bit of a darker period for the Church, but ultimately the Holy Spirit will protect us from doctrinal error. But ALL options still demand that we acknowledge, respect, and display obedience to the Pope.
Disagreement is fine as long as it’s not on doctrinal matters and if it is done in a respectful way. God will take care of the rest.