Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pope Backlash

I'm troubled by all the backlash about Pope Francis having a conversation with Kim Davis. Why does the pope have to be perfect in every way before we give him credence? He's a human being, a saint and sinner like all of us. He does some stuff I don't like (such as supporting an exclusively male priesthood), but that doesn't make him the devil incarnate. It just means that I don't agree with him on some points. Why does the fact that the pope did something many of us don't like negate all the good he did in his visit to the US?

How quickly we turn on those who don't meet our expectations. We're all in or we're all out. I don't know which is a greater problem -- the need we have to idealize people who are flawed like all the rest of us, or our propensity to attack them when they fail to meet our expectations. What's the deal?

It's much like people who leave the church over one negative experience, or those who discount all of Scripture because they can't buy every word of it hook-line-and-sinker. I'm reminded of when Jesus said, "whoever isn't against us is for us", which happened to be our reading last Sunday. He didn't say whoever isn't for everything we're for is against us, which seems to be what we believe. We are quick to draw lines between ourselves and those who disagree with us. Those who don't see things our way become the enemy. Really?

I encourage those who are ready to throw everything the pope did last week out with the Kim Davis bathwater, to examine why they have reacted this way? Why did you expect so much of a human being? And why has his failure to meet your expectations caused you to dismiss him completely?

Can we stop drawing lines between us and them? (Them being everyone who disagrees with us.)People aren't either good or bad. The world can't be divided into friends or enemies. Life is a lot more complicated than that.

I'm not here to be the hero in my little life's drama, doing battle with every evil foe I encounter. There is as much evil in me as the next person, and as much good, too. I know the same is true of Pope Francis. That's why I'm giving him a break for doing something I wish he hadn't.


  1. Nancy, just read a piece on Patheos that expressed the belief that the Pope was manipulated into this meeting by the conservatives in the US Chief of Cardinals, since the Kim Davis story is really of interest only to the US. It's questionable if he really knew that much about the whole situation, the writer said. For whatever reason it happened and I, for one, don't feel this gives Francis less credibility. He made some amazing statements while here and did some amazing things. Like you said, both saint and singer- and I suspect he'd be the first to acknowledge that.

  2. I sincerely doubt if this bothers him one little bit. He had a few more important things to think about than whether or not the people of the always-fickle US adoptive of him or not.

  3. As I said on my Facebook timeline, the phrase "all are welcome" includes everybody.

    The hard part is owning up to the fact that I don't want everybody.


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