May I begin by emphasising that I have no problem with those who poke fun or laugh at the Church or at any of its dignitaries. When I was a schoolboy I learnt that “if you cannot laugh at your religion, then you probably cannot take it seriously either!” I have found that to be true of many people, INCLUDING myself. Indeed laughter seems to be good for the soul and the body.. My own late father reminded me of that and occasionally said, even on my ordination day, “If you cannot find anything to laugh at there is always yourself!”
In recent months some bloggers appear to be very disturbed and even distressed by the actions or words Pope Francis. Almost everything he does or says is attacked as wrong if it had not been said or done by Pope Emeritus Benedict.
Personally I have found some of what he does or says thought-provoking. That is a good thing. Some bloggers however seem to regard Pope Francis not only as wrong but even heretical! I could not disagree more. Allegations of heresy especially against The Pope are damaging and injurious both to the Church, to the person who makes them and to the wider world much in need of conversion.
The sad thing about this is that the bloggers seem to be devoted to the Church and want to serve it. Even sadder is that they resort to the specious argument that the Pope is only Pope when he is teaching infallibly. That is untrue and they are wrong. The pope is Pope even in his ordinary teaching and is due “submission of mind and will” by Catholics.. Far too many seem to want to form a church in their own image and to their own liking and preferences.
My greatest fear in all of this is that some bloggers become so convinced of their own position vis-à-vis the Pope, and so in love with their own preferences and pet hobby horses that they will end up leaving the Church.
It happened to Martin Luther!
So the answer to the question in the caption is: YES…it does matter. It matters to those in the Church and it can adversely affect those not yet converted..
“Let the little children come to me. Do not stop them.”