Pope Francis, Tradition and Novelty
There are many Catholics who claim Pope Francis is in line with the traditions and orthodoxy of the Catholic Faith. They will defend his unclear idiosyncrasies until they are blue in the face. They will explain Pope Francis is a loyal Pope who is bringing a new breath of fresh air to the Papacy and how he is a defender of tradition. Every time he says something that is clearly a Catholic position they will shout “See! He is a solid conservative!”
An assertion exists declaring Pope Francis a continuation of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. However, unlike Pope Benedict, Pope Francis is a media darling, who makes headlines constantly. Pope Benedict was harassed, degraded, and persecuted by the same media.
It seems every other article you read about Pope Francis starts with a similar incantation. “In a Papal first”. “Breaking from tradition”. “In a break from his predecessors” appear to be introductions to many of these news articles.
This strikes me as a clear signal that Pope Francis is not a traditionalist as one is lead to believe. Rather, it paints a vivid picture of what Pope Francis believes.
You can not break from tradition and still be a traditionalist. You can not create novel innovations and still be a traditionalist. You can not label those who adhere to traditions as Pharisees, especially when those who adhere to traditions are faithful to Jesus Christ, the giver of these laws.
St. Paul is very clear in his letter to the Romans, we are to avoid those within the Church who make divisions and offenses which differ from what has been handed down through the Magisterium (emphasis mine):
Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark them who make dissensions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them. For they that are such, serve not Christ our Lord, but their own belly; and by pleasing speeches and good words, seduce the hearts of the innocent. For your obedience is published in every place. I rejoice therefore in you. But I would have you to be wise in good, and simple in evil. And the God of peace crush Satan under your feet speedily. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Romans 16:17-20 DR
A good father gives clear guidance to his children so they understand him and his teaching. A good teacher is one who makes sure his students understand the material given to them, so they may have a proper foundation for future education.
Seeing as Pope Francis constantly seeks the approval of not the faithful, but the world through his actions, leaving ambiguity as his hallmark calling card, it demonstrates his reluctance to be a good shepherd.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is crystal clear in His teaching about those who seek the approval of the world:
If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John 15:18-19 DR
Pope Francis is still the Pope. He is in need of prayers just like you and I. Please in your kindness and charity, pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be for his prompt conversion.