In the time between his election and his inaugural mass, less than a week, I have read any number of news articles and blog posts critical of Pope Francis. One just doesn't like him, another cites his choice of vestments, yet another cites his concern for the poor as fake because he does not subscribe to liberation theology. And so it goes... a seemingly endless series of unfulfilled expectations and disappointments from all quarters. This narcissistic obsession reverses the proper relationship between the Christ and his Church and makes little popes of us all.
I am a sinner. We all are, including Pope Francis. I did not come to the Church in a consultative capacity in order to offer my expertise and wisdom to help run things. I came back to the Church in the darkness of a confessional relating my sins. I came to the Church in order to be taught how to overcome my many failings. I came seeking salvation. The Church is my mother and teacher.
There are many things I do not understand, including the significance and use of the mozzetta. Apparently Blessed John Paul has managed to attain heaven despite having neglected the use of the mozzetta. Is it too much to expect that Pope Francis might have something to teach me in spite of appearing on the balcony of St. Peter's without a mozzetta? I do not know but I will listen and hope.
This rush to judgement is perhaps to be expected of the various news media and opinionated pundits of the blogosphere. After all, the news cycle is fast and instantaneous reaction is necessary if you expect to engage viewers or readers. The impatient among us seek instant understanding and do not want to admit they do not understand or do not know the whole story. Jesus disciples were not immune to this. When a woman came to anoint Jesus with a jar of expensive ointment the disciples objected saying "Why this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for a large sum, and given to the poor." But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me." Jesus knew of his impending death and resurrection, something the disciples did not fully understand. Their response was well intentioned but lacking in a full understanding of what was happening. Indeed they would not understand until the events of Jesus passion made it obvious.
Perhaps it might be better for the sake of our souls to emulate Mary, who also did not fully understand.
And he said to them, "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. Luke 2:49-51