I am on the side of our Holy Father even if his imprecision of speech makes me uncomfortable. He is the Pope, and on faith and morals cannot err. Himself has said that he holds to all of Church teaching– so every word he says must be understood against the backdrop of total orthodoxy– even if the press and the enemies of the Church (inside and out) refuse to see it that way. A darling person, whose blog ( A Woman’s Place… ) I love to read, has also been troubled by this; I feel for her, she too loves the papacy and is a loyal daughter of the Church. To her blog post I responded:
I love Blessed John Paul II and sometimes found Pope Benedict XVI tendency to back track from perfectly reasonable statements disturbing but his orthodoxy continued that of Blessed John Paul II and the continuity comforted me. Now we have a Pope who does some marvelous things and then regularly makes statements that the Liberation Theology people love, and the socialists around me love, and the Catholics I know who embrace eagerly, and in some cases militantly, one or more heretical positions, actively arguing against Church teaching in those areas where they deviate, find him a delight but don’t alter their heretical positions. My husband, a deeply philosophical man, who cares not at all if this Pope is orthodox or a heretic, complains that if he doesn’t intend to give ammunition to heretics and communists, he ought to be a lot clearer in what he says–
Except, the philosophical precision of Blessed John Paul II, and the theological precision of Pope Benedict XVI, are not his style. He has a very different style.
He himself says he changes nothing, he himself says one must understand what he has to say by first assuming complete adherence to all of Catholic teaching, but his style doesn’t help those of us who are struggling because surrounded by people who reject whole portions of Church teaching, or who insist on a heretical position and vehemently insist that their position IS Church teaching, and all the rest of the soft martyrdom that seems to be coming to those who really love the whole of Catholic teaching and insist that that teaching is correct even when we have stupidly violated some part of it, and we don’t want to be excused for our sin because we WANT to face our sins, repent, and be saved– we don’t want to be dispensed from Church teaching and end up in hell.
Dear Lord, Thank You for the goodness of the Papacy. Help us to remain always loyal daughters and sons of the Church, members of the Body of Christ, and disciples of Jesus who is God and Man. Please help our Pope to be clearer in his passing on of Church teaching, help the heretics to repent and convert to an orthodox Faith, and please help those of us who are disturbed by this Pope have Your peace and rest in You. +Amen.