The Quiet Menace: Fixating on Francis, Missing the Point
“You didn’t like Peter in red shoes? Here is Peter in black. You didn’t like Peter in brocade? Here is Peter looking kind of disheveled. You didn’t like Peter being shy and standoffish? Here is Peter hopping down to kiss the face of a deformed man whose existence makes you uncomfortable — whose life you would deem of insufficient use and quality to be sustained! We Catholics know well enough to be careful what we ask for; you asked for this and you got it — now deal with it when this Peter upholds church teachings you will still hate and resent, only by then you won’t be able to hide behind a contrived “righteous indignation” on behalf of the poor; then you will have to admit to the reality of all you hate. Then, you will have to look inward, to the poverty within your own soul, and you will have to decide who and what you will serve, stripped of all illusions, unprotected by shabbily-erected narratives.”
The way Violi and Messori’s analysis goes, being pope has two basic components: agendo et loquendo — acting and teaching; and orando et patendo — praying and suffering. They believe Benedict laid down the former but never the latter, which explains his continuing residence in the Vatican and his continuing use of papal vestments. In effect, they believe he is continuing in some ways to function as pope, while leaving the work of governance to his successor.