I’m not sure about the reactions from either the left or right on the pope. The left, or too many of them, seem to think he’s going to change the church and bring it around to their liking. As if. The right thinks he a Socialist/Marxist/Communist (<–pet peeve. Too many people think those are all the same.) who hates the rich. I just read a Yahoo article
about him saying the church needs to re-examine how the church treats/ministers to children of gay parents/divorced parents. The comments, mostly from people to the far far right (somewhere out there where God lost His shoes), tell me that many of them have lost their minds.
He’s “going to preside over rainbow marriages next,” “Pope quid pro quo,” “he’s catering to .0000001% of the population,” etc. (I got into an argument with a guy on Twitter that reaching out to the children of gays and divorce is not “pandering to the extreme minority.” I asked if he hadn’t ever heard of the parable of
the lost sheep. All of God’s people are important, and who needs the help of a doctor more, the sick man or the well man?) As far as I can tell, he hasn’t said anything
that the last two popes haven’t said, and he’s certainly not “changing” church
teaching on anything. What I do think is different is less laser-like focus on the “sin” aspect of topics, and more on pastoral care.
His comments on gays, for instance, are no different from what the Catechism
says, they’re just in a nicer, more caring tone than Benedict used. I like to think the Pope is
bringing us back to the mystery of the Church, rather than just focusing on the fire
and brimstone aspect. Perhaps the Pope is like the old saying about Jesus: he came to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. The thing is, too many of us assume that only “the other” needs to be afflicted, not us, the pious and righteous.
Anyway, I find the left and the right irritating the hell out of me these days. :-p