This Post originally appeared on 27th October, 2013 under the Title "JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT HE HAD SAID IT ALL  -  WAIT! THERE'S MORE! "

It is getting tedious.

Good faithful Catholic writers, journalists and even humble bloggers - Priests and Laymen alike, are finding their time and words requisitioned by necessity to explain,justify, correct "off the cuff" remarks falling from the lips of the Holy Father and reported and mis-reported in the daily press.

No sooner has one media disaster been calmed down, massaged into satisfactory shape and put to bed, than another is gratuitously dumped into the public marketplace.Just as the Jesuit Magazines interview (12,000 words) had been explained, justified and filed away,the Holy Father himself arranges another (4,500 words) with the Atheist Editor of the Italian " La Reppublica".More of the same.

The core of the problem is the casual off the cuff habit of Pope Francis in speaking . He goes on as if his words meant nothing to anyone beyond the moment and the interlocutor.He seems reluctant to accept the full burden of his office, the self-discipline that it necessarily entails.

Rather than re-hash the whole thing here : I would like to direct readers to Father John Zuhlsdorf's comments here : then the good and also faithful Father Tim Finigan has a timely reminder for us all :

To be very honest, I do not think it is my place to be defending the random ramblings of the Holy Father, or for that matter explaining them or searching for a reason for them.But as ever I shall ALWAYS be vigorously active in the defence of the teachings of the Magisterium.

I am, and ever have been and shall be, attentive and faithful to the Magisterial Statements of the Holy Father -  including those made outside the " ex Cathedra" category. His Holiness has said  that he is " astute" ( I have never heard anyone claim that characteristic for himself before -see the Spadaro Interview), but he then said he is " naive".

I must admit that in reading the La Reppublica interview I was prompted to laugh when I read ( speaking of the Council of Cardinals)".....advisers. Not courtiers but wise people who share my own feelings." This is obviously going to be  a very personalised Pontificate. They all are, in one way or another. But I suspect that this one will not necessarily leave behind much of continuing benefit to the administration of the Church, but perhaps  a trail of personal arrangements doing little to build up the continuing health of the central administration in the Roman Curia.Much will depend on the degree of influence the Council of Cardinals  can achieve in its advice of this wilful man. It seems clear that altogether too much energy will be spent by too many people minimising the effects of the Argentinian " bull in the (Roman) china shop".

" God Bless our Pope, the Great the Good"! Let us all pray for Our Holy Father Pope Francis that he might be blessed with the humility to respect what has been done by his illustrious and truly saintly predecessors, and that he might recognise the reasons behind,  and benefits of, their discretion and circumspection and self effacing pattern of activity founded on authentic personal humility rather than  conspicuous  acts of public humility. 

It was not for nothing that a leading Italian journalist published an open letter to Pope Francis in recent days. In part it was more than a little wrong. But throughout it contained a list of his actions and contrasted them with the contrary mantra " We need a Pope." In other words "You are not living up to the role as we need it." Perhaps she - the journalist - will get one of those famous phone calls! Or maybe she will be asked to do yet another interview!  


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