This is hard to write...
Within the last month I had to unfollow what I believed (and actually do still believe to be in some cases) very good Catholic news/ blog pages. I will not name them, as what good they are still producing should be read by Catholics. I just can't take it.
With the approach of the synod, the Church (both faithful and, I do say, the Progressives) are getting the ammunition ready. With the lists of people who are attending the upcoming synod, both sides already anticipate the potential loss or win of whatever aim they are hoping to be the outcome this October. Nothing too surprising unfortunately,
It seems though that something has become pretty regular in this pontificate. People are associating whatever is good or bad in our Church to the Holy Father, H.H. Pope Francis. I have seen it very recently in very faithfully Catholic blogs, both in a good and bad light.
Here are two thoughts I have one this:
1. How is it that Francis is responsible for both what is good and in what is bad with the Catholic Church today? I'm not saying I don't understand what goes through people's minds in the media. This is the benefit and the detriment to Catholicism, we have a leader. If you want to talk about Catholicism in a very simplistic way- use the Pope. From the list of appointments at the synod, a loving church today, a progressive church today, a woman-hating church today, a conservative\ liberal church today- all fingers point to Francis.
Let me just say it: Pope Francis is not the Church. There, I said it! Get my nails ready. (***SPOILER ALERT*** That's a joke)
Pope Francis is not the Church. He leads the Church on Earth, but is not the whole Church. Whether he is a good one or not is irrelevant. He cannot be responsible for everything going on in the Church. That's the thing about the Church, it's got a lot going on in it. It's like a body (sound familiar?), with a bunch of internal systems operating, and sometimes not operating, in a proper manner.
2. It has suddenly occurred to me that Catholics I see in the blogosphere are just as good finger pointers than the secular media today. When something is scandalous, I see the articles immediately asking why Francis is doing, or not doing, such and such. That is what it has come down to. Layman have felt that the Church has no security rails anymore. So somehow, we took it upon ourselves to be the Church police. I did it too. We are not citizens to a cozy Church at this time. Things are bad.
But you know...
What happened to those saints who inspired hope in others? Sure we have had saints who were purifiers and warriors (although didn't do so from a laptop). Yet, I have found that I cannot continue to handle the problems being reported to me in the Catholic media, and to have the speculation as to whose fault it all really is.
I want to be clear: I believe all heresy needs to be corrected. I believe, as the Church does, that those who are in error should be corrected, and the Church needs to be bold to the truth, and that sugarcoating is not the answer.
I want the cold hard truth of it all. I don't want to witch-hunt. Judging from the past, witch hunts are a lot like wild goose chases. The secular media does a good job at keeping countries polarized and divided. I don't think Catholic outlets should exist for that purpose. That's what they sure seem to be doing. While they have the freedom to do so, I can't deal with it. While the world crumbles around me, I need to be reminded that I don't have to. I want to aspire to something greater.
I think Catholic outlets who report Catholic news (both laymen and organization) should keep this in mind. Be slow to just sit and blame. Sometimes blame has its place, but it's like war, it may root out a problem, but it is going to bring up 3 more. So with fingers flailing wildly, things can only get worse.
So I say this to myself as much as everyone: before picking up (typing) the pen (keyboard), try to exercise humility and obedience to those whom God has placed before us. He will remind them of their duty one way or another. Please remember yours.