By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Disrespect for Pope by "Traditionalists" Is Telling

Here and there, I come across an immature flippancy and disrespect aimed at Pope Francis by English-speaking traditionalists who take strong exception to a Pope who has discerned that excessive emphasis on a legalistic and ritualistic approach to the faith is not in keeping with the Gospel. Pope Francis has also seemed to trouble some by discerning that the excessive embrace of right-wing "Tea Party" economic theory is also not in keeping with the Gospel.

Frankly, as a Catholic, I am amazed at the flippancy I have seen (what is even more disturbing is the mockery of the Pope and the accompanying sarcastic tone). Maybe, it's cultural. As a Hispanic, I am often struck at the immature and puerile way of speaking that permeates our shallow U.S. culture. I see that same juvenile, teenage-like immaturity in those flippant toward the Pope. There is a lot of shallow secular culture in the style of those who claim to be countercultural. In amazement, I exclaim to myself "Wow!" when I see this flippancy. (As an aside, it is interesting how often ways of thinking or acting do not match a self-professed ideology. I sometimes notice how some who are politically liberal think in a very individualistic way that, ironically, has a lot in common with the politically conservative-libertarian mindset they claim to dislike. Likewise, some who identify as traditional sure sound like typical examples of the superficiality of American popular culture.)

In contrast to the puerile, it is good to observe the style and conduct of Opus Dei. You will never hear someone from Opus Dei engage in such flippancy. In my mind, the sincere gravitas of Opus Dei sets the gold standard for imitation. When I think "Catholic," the Opus Dei way of thinking is what comes to mind, not the conduct and language of self-proclaimed protectors of tradition.

And so I end with a quote from St. Josemaría Escrivá to mark the birthday of Pope Francis:

"For me, in the hierarchy of love, the Pope comes right after the Most Holy Trinity and our Mother the Virgin."

Now, that strikes me as Catholic, in contrast to the superciliousness of some claiming to uphold tradition.