We have often heard Pope Francis’ rebuking those shepherds who love comfortable chairs more than service stools. The Holy Gospel is always the source of cues and an opportunity to talk about the scribes and Pharisees of our time. All of us might be considered among those sinners – vain and selfish men, narcissists, and careerists – to some degree. No one is immune from the temptation to excel or to look for comfort one way or another.
The life lessons of the Holy Father, however, are often heard as an accusation, and some sections of our society – starting with the Church – feel the burn of the so-called “guilty conscience”. Now, this angry climate can be sensed in certain Catholic circles, where Bergoglio’s warnings of Bergoglio truly annoy many people. His denunciation of hypocrisy and inertia, in St. Francis’ style, is provoking in some classes, medium and high, one protest after another, accompanied with backbiting, which often becomes an excuse for scandals.
The people loves and listens to the Pope with joy and hope, but there is no shortage of powerful people who fear and oppose him either. Yet, Pope Francis does not allow them to intimidate him at all. He keeps his own route, turning a blind eye to the reactions of certain poisonous snakes and to the immoderate and constant arguments of a bunch of conspiracy theorists who feed on fantasies to spread and backstories to sell to wide audience; one can be always certain beforehand that they will always say bad things in order to please novelists and disturb simple people.
The Church is still besieged and surrounded by ravenous wolves, both inside and outside its walls, and it comes as no surprise for those who are at least somewhat familiar with its history. Of course, today we can sense a diabolical plan of destruction against this institution. I personally suffer when it is precisely the figure of the Vicar of Christ to be fiercely attacked by those who should listen to him, learn from him, and bear him witness instead.
In the era of social media, everyone feels entitled to teach and even verbally attack the Pope, who is serving the Church and humanity with love and sacrifice. There are no brakes nor shame to insulting and insinuating. Some people even feel compelled to do so. How many Catholics cite more often the praenotanda and totally forget the Gospel!
How many weeds grow beside the good grain! Hence, it is worth remembering Jesus’ words, which are always valid: “Let both grow together until the harvest.” The experts and teacher should know how the story ends…