Furthermore, I am not going to call the Holy Father a heretic and if that makes me a heretic then so be it. I read Amoris Laetitiae; I did not see anything wrong with it, but then I am not in the habit of reading a papal document like a censor librorum. However, if the cardinals ask the Pope for a clarification in a matter of doctrine, then they have a right to do so, although it is for the Pope to answer at his own discretion. But it does not make the Pope a heretic, and it does not make me a heretic for acknowledging Pope Francis as the Vicar of Christ. The heretics are those who deny the authority of a validly and licitly elected Bishop of Rome. From First Things:
Priorities, personnel, and leadership style always change with a new Holy Father. The times also change, and with them pastoral realities and needs. So in many ways, Pope Francis and the issues that engage him are nothing unusual. But some things in the new regime really are new. All previous recent papal transitions—John XXIII to Paul VI; Paul VI to John Paul II; John Paul II to Benedict XVI—were marked by a continuity of experience that Francis does not share. All these earlier men were directly involved in the hopes and struggles of the Second Vatican Council in way Francis was not. For Francis, collegiality is an inherited idea.Share
While the Church in the global north stalls and declines, the Church in the global south is expanding rapidly. The center of gravity in the Church is shifting accordingly. As a Latin American, Francis has been formed by legitimate urgencies very different from those that prevail in Europe. His actions reflect this. If he seems to dislike the United States (as rumors suggest), his attitude is hardly unwarranted, given hemispheric history. If he also seems to resent the long European intellectual dominance of the Church (as his behavior suggests), it’s not an unreasonable reaction to northern condescension.
But a pope, unfortunately, can’t afford peevishness. Every word and action has weight. Thus, no matter how well-intended, Francis’s very public decision to live in a Vatican hotel rather than the Apostolic Palace is perceived not merely as a statement of humility and simplicity, but also as a rejection—at considerable financial expense—of his predecessors’ manner of life. (Read more.)