I’m not entirely sure anymore.
I’ve had issues with the present Holy Father – not quite as many as other trad Catholics but serious doubts all the same.
The now infamous arm-grabbing incident by a Chinese woman over the NY who got given enormously short shrift by the Pope. He smacked her hand away twice - his face contorted with rage. And this isn’t a Daily Mail headline (a right-wing paper in the UK) I’ve watched the footage.
He looks really angry.
An unattractive ageing actor/14-year old boy-in-a-huff hybrid.
The Pope apologised. It was limp and clearly at the insistence of the Vatican PR machine that is both mighty and German efficient (circa 1939).
And I’m not buying it.
There’s something off about this Pope. The Trads (traditional, conservative Catholics) are going nuts. An anonymous British priest has been quoted saying ‘we are just waiting for him to die’.
Does this make him the most unpopular Pope in our time?
Is he the first Jesuit Pope since the beginning of the Papacy?
Indeed, he is.
‘What’s all the fuss about Jesuits?’, I hear you ask – putting down your coffee and giving me THAT look.
Well, Jesuits are very Vatican Two and regarded as the hippy movement of the Catholic Church taking on contentious, thorny matters although gay marriage & abortion are still taboo.
Social Justice issues like Climate Change, the issue of women priests, of allowing divorced Catholics to take communion and the possibility of relaxing the celibacy rule for priests (Bishops would be exempt). This of course makes the Pope much more popular ironically enough with atheists and agnostics and SJW’s who have faith in their gender identity and not much else.
There are accusations of a Lucifer worshipping ‘Black Pope’, which sounds very Sam and Dean Supernatural but is more about power. The Black Pope is also the Head of Jesuits, now the largest single religious community in the Catholic church and wields enormous power both internally and outside the Vatican State. If you believe in the 13 families of the Illuminati and the Jewish/Communist conspiracy, then this won’t be news to you.
Personally, I won’t be bowed by other’s hatred of the Jews & accept Holocaust denials as truth. But conspiracy theories generally, like rumours, have a basis however buried they may be under layers of hatred, murder, sin and dark acts of violence.
Sorry – got a bit carried away there – I’m a fiction writer – so my imagination goes a bit bonkers when unfettered.
Back to Pope Francis.
I do understand the importance of Catholicism staying relevant in an age where distraction has become something to be relished.
I do get that there has to be a certain amount of evangelism (terrifying word) to keep the numbers up.
And I do appreciate that the Roman Catholic Church is an ancient and valuable body that provides spiritual comfort to over a billion Catholics globally – many of them living in the most abject poverty.
But the present Pope is an enigma, wrapped in a people-pleasing anomaly, ensconced in a fertile Pachamama.
It’s almost as if he enjoys pissing people off.
I think the greatest sin is Pride because it’s so easy to mistake as something else.
I think the Pope’s mask slipped and his true face appeared.
It is unnerving and I’m left with a feeling of disquiet, a sour taste in my mouth and anxiety about what damage might be done before Pope Francis ‘retires’.