Many Catholics--a vast majority according to U.S. polling--are delighted with Pope Francis. Speaking for myself, he is just what the doctor ordered. His humility, directness, and lack of ostentation are profoundly refreshing. I think many others share that reaction. Houston, we have a Christian. Of course, his predecessors were great Christians; but now we have one in dramatic living gospel color. It makes a big difference.
Yet, we have a minority that experiences some kind of vertigo--he doesn't speak about the faith like they do, he doesn't follow the customary culture warrior template, he is too spontaneous, he doesn't use the old tropes, he is just, just too----messy for them! He needs to be more careful, more circumspect, more austere, more distant, more dignified, more precise, they tell us. Less innovative and unpredictable.
Well, I am at the same time not surprised and yet amazed. The old saying is don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Yet, some people always do. They can't help it.
I am sorry there is vertigo in some quarters--but, hey, I am delighted, and I accept the gift. I can't help it--it's too good to pass up.
(Image under fair use doctrine: “An illustration of the pope from the side.” by Hamilton Cline, Daly City, Calif. Via RNS; link)