Just a few possibly contradictory reflections, some of which I left in other people's comboxes, and then I hope to get away from this topic. It isn't doing me any good.
For yesterday's homily the priest (note: we have several priests who say that Mass in turn. Yesterday's was the one that makes me cringe.) was effusive in his praise about Francis, which would have been fine, except he had several backhanded swipes at Benedict, which I did not like in the least. Francis, he said, speaks colloquially and off the cuff, rather than, say, some unnamed guy who sat on his throne and was handed some papers by his secretary and read a prepared sermon that was dry, dull and pedantic. He went on for some time, not one word about the readings and gospel of the day, only Francis. It seemed clear to me that, more than anything else, the priest has absorbed Benedict's and Francis' press reports rather than their actual teachings, and that way lies madness.
Isn't it funny how the press cherry picked, took out of context, misinterpreted and flat out misquoted Benedict's words, and then hated him for the words they put in his mouth? They are doing the same for Francis, only they love him for the words they are putting into his. But I gotta admit this: I agree with those who say Francis is making the job easy.
We used to say figuratively that some people claim to be more Catholic than the Pope. Under Francis, many are making that claim literally, and about themselves. The form I notice I have named Sedes Impertenens, as opposed to Sedes Vacantes. They are not claiming that the seat is empty, merely that it is irrelevant. Perhaps I am guilty of creeping ultramontanism, but that viewpoint seems to me to be one which was shared by Martin Luther. Not the best way to go.
And yet, I am feeling a little that way myself. Does it really matter what the Pope says in any interview? I remain in the same position as always: trying to live my life according to the Catholic Faith to the best of my understanding, abilities and opportunities. Parsing Every. Single. Word. that he may or may not say to some reporter is a distraction from that job. Frankly, I have better and more important things to do.
Lastly, remember how Francis, shortly after he was elected, said he didn't do interviews? Yeah, that was awesome.