An interesting article from Richard Gaillardetz, writing for The Tablet, wherein he looks at the curious form of ecclesial infighting that is being experienced during the pontificate of Francis in a way that was never present during the reign of his predecessors. Gaillardetz concludes his article thus:
Differences and disagreements are not to be feared or artificially smothered; they are a sign of passionate discipleship. And bishops in the Church, including the Bishop of Rome, are not above scrutiny and criticism. In our media-saturated age, no pope can hope to lead effectively without incurring excoriating criticism.
But many of Francis’ critics are resisting his leadership and even calling for his resignation because they discern in his papacy the bold, reforming vision of Vatican II, to which they may pay lip service but would prefer to see emasculated. The success of this pontificate likely represents the last, best chance for decades to come for the decisive realisation of the vision of Vatican II. The stakes could scarcely be higher.
I have a lot of time for Gaillardetz and his writing, and his insightful understanding of what appears to be happening in the Church under Francis. And it’s not just because I’ve had the pleasure of his company at dinner, or the opportunity to sit in on his public presentations locally two years running. Largely it’s because he just makes sense in a time when help is required to make sense of what’s going on.