instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Church doesn't have quarterback controversies

One of the dynamics I think I've seen over the last couple of weeks is this: Catholics who were used to liking everything the Pope did found themselves not liking some of the things the Pope did, and that made them "concerned."

For my part, I think that's a good development. To be deep in history is to cease thinking that liking everything the Pope does is normal, and if the only way to get people deep in history is to have them life through it, so be it.

A map of legitimate Catholic opinion.

You can check the Ten Commandments, you can check the Law and the Prophets, you can check the Sermon on the Mount and the Last Supper Discourse, you can check the Creed and the Catechism, you can check canon law and the precepts of the Church, and you won't find, "Catholics must like the pope."

And really, I do understand the feelings when you've cowboyed up for a pope and others deprecate him in your hearing. "Good riddance" is a particularly hard attitude to stomach -- though I think more than one fan of Pope Emeritus Benedict has heard "good riddance" when all that was said was "Yay, Francis!"

Still, I would ask those who take offense on behalf of the Pope Emeritus, "Are you taking offense on behalf of him, or on behalf of your attachment to him?" If the former, all I can say is that I can't think of a sweeter gig in the world than retired pope, and anyone who knows him well enough to admire him can't think he's holed up in Castel Gandolfo checking Twitter and his RSS feeds for what the Internet is saying about him.