A lot of Catholics are upset with the medias spin on Pope Francis interview on the plane home from Brazil. Likewise a lot of Catholics are upset with Pope Francis response and his apparent ambiguity around the subject of the churches teaching. However there was no ambiguity and Pope Francis was just rehashing his predecessors compassionate approach on homosexuality and the churches teaching around it.
The media are now drawing up comparisons between Pope Francis and His predecessor Benedict XVI. They try to paint a picture of Benedict as being cold and blunt and very conservative and Pope Francis as a liberal so open to new ideas.
It’s obvious that its all just media twists, hype and lies but there is a comparison between them both in their approach to delivering the faith and both approaches are quite good and don’t contradict the other. Neither approach can be favoured over the other as they both work. So although the medias comparisons are all rubbish there is a comparison nonetheless as we all know that no Papas approach is ever the same nor personality.
What are these comparisons from my small minded view? I think that Pope Benedict was very blunt in his approach of the faith kind of like a St.John the Baptist. He would throw you into the deep end, announce the faith and just let the chips fall where they may. This is a good approach and it was this approach that brought me back to the Church.
Likewise ( and this is me trying to prove neither approach is better than the other ) it was the gentle pastoral approach which fed me on milk before solids like Pope Francis that brought me back to Church also. Both of these approaches are needed in our times. We need to be both blunt when the time calls for it and wean people on to the breast of good doctrine gradually and with patience and kindness when the time calls for it also.
Pope Francis seems to be following St.Ignatius of Loyolas advice, that is, when evangelising people to copy their temperance and behave like them. Everyone thinks Pope Francis is being played by the Media but it is Pope Francis who is actually playing them right into his hands. It’s a clever yet harmless approach by Francis and its driving the anti-Catholics and Christians in general crazy.
His gentle approach will get people thinking more about the faith, EVEN those who picked him up wrong, it will have them investigate further. I think Popes Francis approach to homosexuality on the plane was refreshing and compassionate. He spoke nothing new, yet he spoke in a way that touched the hearts even of those with homosexual tendencies who have been at odds with the church for a long time, even if they picked him up wrong, there is a connection that has been made. The babies are being given the milk, lets pray they manage to get as far as swallowing the solids.
I say well done Pope Francis and well done Pope Benedict the XVI as both of your approaches have taken many back to Church. God bless our Holy Father Pope Francis and may The Lord grant him many years.