Saturday, 10 August 2013

Does Pope Francis Highlight Our Past Prejudices?

Pope Francis
Photo: Catholic News Agency

The media clearly loves Pope Francis. He can almost do no wrong. They literally seem to leap at the slightest opportunity to highlight what a great man he is. I of course agree. He is a great man.

I am entirely convinced that Pope Francis is exactly what the Church needed at this time, which is probably why the Holy Spirit saw to it that the College of Cardinals elected him as pope instead of one of the other cardinals. The other cardinals are also truly great men but it was Pope Francis, not them, who was clearly the right man for the Church at this point in time.

The question I keep asking is why the media, and some liberal Catholics, feel that it is necessary to highlight the good things that Pope Francis is doing, at the expense of his predecessors? Why portray what Pope Francis is doing as unique to him, when in fact many of his predecessors have done the same things that he has?

There are many examples of the media making much of Pope Francis, at the expense of his predecessors. One example is this news about how, a bit more than a month ago, Pope Francis invited more than 200 homeless people to dinner at the Vatican. Pope Francis did not personally go to dinner with the homeless but was represented by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello.

The media and liberal Catholics leapt for joy and welcomed this news. They highlighted just how Pope Francis was repeatedly setting such a wonderful example for the Church and the world. 

It is undeniable that Pope Francis did indeed set a wonderful example for all of us through this action. We must however not forget that this example is not new. Any attempt to suggest that Pope Francis was leading the way in this regard is completely false.

Pope Francis’ predecessors have also shown just as much concern for those who are less fortunate. Sadly, because of our own prejudice, we often missed the shining example that his predecessors were giving to us. Consider whether as much noise and hype was made about the wonderful example that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI set for us in 2010.

On that occasion Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI invited 250 homeless people to lunch in the Vatican. He attended this lunch in person. He did not send a representative. He also took the time, before lunch, to go around to each table and greet those who had joined him for lunch, before he took his seat and enjoyed the lunch with them.

Maybe what Pope Francis is really highlighting to us is the extent to which we have until now been blinded by our prejudices. We have been making demands about the numerous things that the Church needs to do and hoping that this new pope will give this to us.

Is it possible, on closer examination, that so much of what we have been wishing for was already happening in the Church?

On the subject of feeding the poor, we can clearly see that we already had a pope who was deeply concerned with the poor. Some of us were just not paying attention to what he was teaching us because of our ridiculous prejudices.

1 comment:

  1. Wherever you fit in with an heretical agenda, you will earn some praise.

    The liberals have an earthly agenda, a materialistic one. They do not have a pro-spiritual agenda.

    So, watch, whenever Pope Francis touches the materialist side, "Hark" these mortal ones will sing.

    They sang for Our Lord on Palm Sunday!

    Where were they the next week? Look how quickly tgese hypocrites desserted Pope Benedict VI.