I have certainly not been at all shy about expressing my misgivings over Pope Francis’ pastoral strategy, especially as it is coupled with an apparent shoot-from-the-hip disposition. However, in no way am I in doubt as to his validity as the Successor of Peter and I certainly do recognize the need to be obedient, even when dissenting on areas where it is permissible to do so. Furthermore, I would like nothing more than for his pontificate to be a true success that brings about holiness in our world and strengthens the deposit of faith.
I must say that I do not think there have been a great many successes in Pope Francis’ tenure as the Sovereign Pontiff, though there are some occasional moments where he shoots true. I happen to be among the people who support his comments on the Charlie Hebdo killings, for example, even if I think his folksy manner undercut the magnitude of his point. This week, though, I am happy to see Pope Francis taking a truly courageous stand on the gender identity debate.
Not surprisingly, the media has virtually ignored these statements from the Holy Father (especially in comparison to the reports of Francis meeting with a transgendered individual), though His Holiness’ stance did spark a rather bizarre and vitriolic rant over at The Examiner. I’m not sure which makes me happier: the fact that Pope Francis weighed in clearly on the question of gender identity or that he managed to ruffle the feathers of The Examiner. I mean, anybody who can get The Examiner and its ilk so furious has to be doing something right.
As the old saying goes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.