Whether anyone wants to admit it, the very nature of the papacy has changed through the boomer generation. It is said that St. Pope John Paul II was seen by more people than any other person in history. We saw the throngs of adoring Catholics surrounding the man in white on our televisions. Everyone did.
The change accelerated with the election of the elderly gentleman from Argentina. He has used the media to change perceptions of what the Church believes. Pope Benedict called the Vatican II council's evil shadow "The Media Council." The elderly gentleman from Argentina is creating a "Media Pontificate." He commands the cameras. He speaks into the microphones. It is a living demonstration of Marshall Mcluhan's maxim, "The medium is the message."
And that message is, fundamentally, "The Pope." He is the Church. He has transcended his proper role and become an Oracle, uttering dark imprecations or bright inspirations; answering questions with Delphic ambiguity, such as "who am I to judge?"
But remember, this is a symbiotic relationship between the cameras and microphones on one hand and the elderly gentleman from Argentina on the other. Now get ready for this: the Pope is binding and loosing doctrine and discipline with the help of the international news media.
It is practically inevitable unless our popes realize the danger and exercise discipline and reserve. It seems impossible that the elderly gentleman from Argentina will learn this lesson.
If the Church were an organism, one might be tempted to say that the papacy has metastasized.
But why go on when there is a more elegant explanation that you may read and enjoy.