Pope Francis approach: one way with bishops; another way with general population

Please review these two links:

to the bishops:

Pope Francis: It’s ‘terrible’ children taught they can choose gender


to the general public:

Pope says he’s saddened by ‘perfect’ Catholics who despise others


What do you think of Pope Francis’ approach to provide clear Catholic teaching to the bishops and not to the general public while providing criticisms within the church to the general public while not doing so to the bishops?

These links are meant to provide generalizations of what I have noticed regarding Pope Francis’ philosophy in leading the Church.

Feel free to provide links that counter my observations. I may be wrong about this, but this is what I have observed and am open to be corrected on this point. Thanks!

It’s not our place to judge the Pope. We’re just sheep. The Pope is our shepherd.

There is no conflict whatsoever. On the one hand the Pope is criticising those who make money out of giving children a false impression about gender and on the other he is criticising those who regard themselves as superior to sinners in spite of their own defects and vices…

BTW He has criticised the cardinals and bishops in the not so distant past.

One way for the bishops and another for the laity – also known as clericalism – is a bad thing, no question, but I don’t know that the Pope is guilty of it.

Yes, it is our place to point out our concerns to our sacred pastors, including the Pope. This is an actual right spelled out in canon law. In addition, St. Paul and St. Catherine chastised their popes.

Cardinal Burke warns against ‘idolatry of the papacy’:

To treat every word uttered by the Pope as if it were official Church teaching would be to fall into an “idolatry of the papacy,” said Cardinal Raymond Burke in a recent address at a Catholic conference in Kentucky.

“Pope Francis has chosen to speak often in his first body, the body of the man who is Pope. In fact, even in documents which, in the past, have represented more solemn teaching, he states clearly that he is not offering magisterial teaching but his own thinking,” the Cardinal said.

“But those who are accustomed to a different manner of Papal speaking want to make his every statement somehow part of the Magisterium. To do so is contrary to reason and to what the Church has always understood,” he continued.

“It is simply wrong and harmful to the Church to receive every declaration of the Holy Father as an expression of papal teaching or magisterium,” he added.


In this instance the Pope is being criticised unjustly…

So, do you point out your concerns TO your sacred pastors, or just ABOUT them in online forums?

One is appropriate. The other is gossip.

For starters, different audiences should require different approaches. Bishops and clergy have a common education and language that can be assumed in communication whereas the same assumption cannot be made for John Q. Public.

Both of his messages here are spot-on. It IS terrible that kids think they can pick their gender identity. But for the ones who have chosen poorly, they are not to be despised by Catholics. That doesn’t mean Catholics have to affirm the sin, but we rebuke it as lovingly and charitably as we can. There’s still a person under there.

I’m with the pope 100% on both counts.

Yes me too.

Both, my dear. And it is not gossip unless Canon Law promotes gossip:

Can. 212 §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Well, if he is, then he is by Cardinals, bishops, priests, and laity all over the world. The Pope derision of faithful Catholics is huge. I can post the LONG list of these if you wish. The Pope is well known for his rhetoric against faithful Catholics and anyone who disagrees with him. There is no Pope I am aware of who has done this. It is unique as far as I know.

Yet I don’t think that either of the example links I provided above is an example of this. One could argue that the link I provided from Catholic News is such an attack on faithful Catholics, but I do not see it as such. There are indeed church-going Catholics who think they are ‘holier than thou’. I’ve seen it. However, my personal experience is that this is the exception and not the rule. Perhaps it’s the people of the Midwest who aren’t overly judgemental Catholics and you’d find this more common in other parts of the US? Or maybe the US isn’t overly judgemental and it’s more common worldwide? Either way, it does occur, I just don’t think it’s all that common…again just my personal experience.

My observation is that the Pope doesn’t seem to address issues like “perfect” Catholics as a problem towards an audience of bishops. My observation is that the Pope doesn’t seem to address issues like the problem of gender theory to a general audience, only with the bishops. Maybe that is the correct way to handle these matters. I don’t know.

Your generalisations need to be substantiated by statistics…

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