Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Liking and disliking the Pope

Bishop Mark Davies has given a very sensible homily to the Union of Catholic Mothers today, pointing out that when it comes to the Pope, Catholics do not base their loyalty on personal "likes" or "dislikes." He said:
I can’t remember how many times I have been asked everywhere from radio stations to petrol stations whether I liked the new Pope? To the Catholic mind this is a strange question as the loyalty we owe to the Pope is not based upon personal “likes” or “dislikes”. My invariable reply is that “We love the Pope whoever he is.” This may seem just as puzzling to my questioners. Those long experienced in the media warn of something we may already see taking shape and will require of us the very supernatural perspective Pope Francis urges. They tell of how a public personality can be built up in the media. In this case, it is based on the Pope’s evident goodness and an informal style which is then contrasted even with his most saintly predecessors. Expectations are subtly or less subtly raised that this is the man who will change the Catholic faith itself in accordance with the commentator’s own wishes and agenda. However, when the Pope fails to conform to these false expectations a souring begins to take place. I noticed only last week a concern being expressed in our national media that our Holy Father is proving as “hard-line” as his predecessors. “Likes” may quickly turn to “dislikes” in the public forum.
The Shrewsbury Diocesan website has the full text of the homily.
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