instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Yes, yes, the family

I'm going to play contrarian and say I didn't find Pope Francis's talk at the Festival of Families to be any great shakes.

I mean, it was fine. I'm not objecting to or criticizing the speech. I'm just saying what the Pope said was kind of... unremarkable. I did like the bit about the family as a factory of hope, but on the whole, I don't think it would have been a standout across a year of homilies in my parish.

As I say, though, this is a contrarian position. A lot of people absolutely loved his talk. It was a stunning speech, I read. The Pope really hit it out of the park.

But maybe the two positions aren't actually contrary. Maybe people are mostly marveling at the personal connection Pope Francis made. Making a personal connection doesn't call for profundity or breaking new ground on a topic.

More to the point, maybe what the Church in the United States needs from this apostolic visitation isn't profundity but personal connection. If the Catholic Us included all Catholics in the country, united under the Pope, imagine how much stronger a witness we would be able to give to the culture. And if the culture could believe that we were "Catholic and," not "Catholic but," it would at least give us room to be Catholic.