Tuesday, September 2, 2014
JOHN ALLEN HAS A NEW BLOG OF SORTS "CRUX" PUBLISHED BY THE BOSTON GLOBE (WHICH MUST BE UNDERGOING A CATHOLIC RENEWAL OF SORTS)
You can read it and subscribe to it HERE, called CRUX, covering all things Catholic.
Of particular interest is John Allen's post on "Hard Questions we're not asking Pope Francis." It is the first rather valid critique of Pope Francis, who is dubbed by Allen as the "Teflon pope" compared to Pope Benedict where bad things he didn't even do seem to stick to him.
I have said since day one observed that Pope Francis is perhaps the most centralized, autocratic/unilateral pope we have had since Pope Pius XII despite His Holiness promotion of "synodality." Most traditional Catholics love Pope Pius XII for being such a leader. But many so-called traditionalist Catholics do not like Pope Francis' autocratic approach because it is somewhat away from their conception of "tradition."
As an aside, the very things Pope Francis rails against in human nature, His Holiness seems to foment, such as his loose talk, being autocratic and confusing at times.
This is what John Allen observes in CRUX:
Francis could be asked about what seems on the surface a contradiction between his stated commitment to decentralization and collaboration, and his practice of acting unilaterally when the mood strikes him.
This is a pope, after all, who blew past the normal protocol for naming saints to award a halo to a member of his own Jesuit order, Peter Faber. He disregarded the input of Italian bishops to tap an obscure prelate he happens to like as their new secretary. He gives blockbuster interviews that haven’t been cleared with his communications team, let alone other Vatican aides or local bishops, even though they’re the ones forced to respond when the bombshells go off.
One senior Western diplomat has called Francis’ management style “government by surprise,” expressing sympathy for mid-level officials serially caught off guard.
The pope has convened two synods, meaning summits of bishops from around the world, to discuss matters related to the family, including the controversial issue of whether divorced and remarried Catholics should be able to receive communion. While saying he wants an open debate, he’s signaled in a half-dozen ways his personal sympathy to the more flexible position – arguably, stacking the deck.
Francis’ maverick streak is part of his charm, and one may firmly believe that all these acts are taking the Church in the right direction. Still, it’s fair to ask how they square with his vow of “collegiality,” meaning governing in concert with others.
My final comments: I might add too that Pope Francis does things and then does not explain them. For example calling Catholics and others around the world but not indicating to the local bishop that he is going to do this. The change in who His Holiness includes in the foot washing of Holy Thursday. A brief explanation would go a long way. The reasons why he has dumped so many papal protocols almost as the "anti-Benedict."
Wouldn't it be more pastoral for Pope Francis to prepare the clergy and laity for his decisions by a brief explanation?