Friday, March 14, 2014

Pope Francis and the Media Have Their First Fight

Pope Francis came to power almost a year ago. Right from the start, he demonstrated a new tone for the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. The media loved his more friendly demeanor and care about the common person.

There was a greater focus on that basic Judeo-Christian principal of loving God and loving neighbor instead of all of the controversies that has mired the Roman Catholic Church for decades.

With the one year anniversary coming up, Pope Francis has been doing some interviews. It's here the trouble begins with the media. The thing is that despite his different communication style, the Pope remains Catholic. Part of the reason that he was appointed as a bishop is that his thoughts on Catholic doctrine were considered acceptable to the Pope at the time. That would have been Pope John Paul II.

In these articles, he says that the Roman Catholic Church has been the most transparent when it comes to sex abuse allegations against priests. He may be willing to discuss leadership roles for women in the Church, but don't even think about them becoming priests. Contraception, full inclusion of divorced persons in the activities of the church, forget about it. He does not plan to make any change.

He may be in favor of inviting gay and lesbian persons in through the doors of the Church, but that has more to do with they're societal marginalization than with his desire to advocate for gay marriage or anything like that.

It looks as though the bloom maybe off the rose. Pope Francis may not be quite as progressive as they'd hoped. It's not like they weren't warned. Several bishops made the rounds of the talk shows when Pope Francis was first elected. They said that he wouldn't be changing all the doctrine of the church. However, it seems like no one would believe them.

I still like the new Pope. His outreach to the marginalized and communication style remains refreshing. I think he can really help with the public perception of the church.

Regardless, he's not going to persuade me to become a Catholic. There are too many areas where we will continue to agree to disagree, so to speak. What I am glad about is that the media has had an opportunity to end their hero worship and realize that Pope Francis is not the new Messiah. I don't think that the Pope would want them to do that anyway

P.S. Full disclosure, my father's side of the family is predominantly Catholic. I considered long and hard about joining the Catholic Church. There are many things I love and appreciate about it.



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