A Frank Talk About Papa
Pope Francis, with all due respect, has not demonstrated this capacity. If there is one word that sums up his personality, it is narcissistic.
Someone who is narcissistic thinks of himself as exceptional. He craves the approval of others, yet he lacks empathy. He exhibits grandiosity: self-centeredness and feelings of entitlement. He feels superior to others, and is condescending. He needs to be the focus of attention of others. Comments and criticisms of others can be vicious.
These descriptions are taken from diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The Bear is not claiming to diagnose the Pope. Yet, think back on his papacy, and the way Francis bounces from one scandal to another like a pinball, seemingly unaware of the damage he causes and unable to stop himself. Recall how he seems to consider the papacy as his own personal belonging. That is not humility. Even his acts of "humility" often seem to feature the imposition of his will upon tradition.
What about criticism of those who don't agree with him? Here is a lengthy collection of his insults. "Rosary counter," and "self-absorbed, Promethean neo-Pelagian" are just the start. (Who can forget "Bat Christian?")
Now here we are waiting on a papal encyclical based on the controversial topic of climate change. Once again, Pope Francis can bask in the spotlight. As the Bear pointed out in his last article, Catholics are required to give "religious assent," i.e. agreement, to such a document. How this is going to work out in practice the Bear has no idea, but it doesn't matter. On the possibly fraudulent or misguided science of climate change, "Roma locuta est, causa finita est."
The Church works when grownups are in charge. Frankly, we could add when people who do not exhibit symptoms of mental illness are in charge. Should there be an odd-ball, the sheep can only be unsettled and mistrustful. Even worse, what does this say about the Church? We are expected to swallow an encyclical on dubious science because we believe the Pope has divine assistance to get it right.
The Pope expects assent to his climate change encyclical. The faithful expect a Pope who is not incompetent. We seem to be at an impasse.