Saturday, 15 June 2013

Praying for the Pope

We all have a duty to pray for the Pope, which I suppose as Catholics we take seriously. We prayed, with millions worldwide, that the Holy Spirit would guide the choice of the College of Cardinals and Cardinal Bergoglio was elected quite quickly (five ballots). The work of the Holy Spirit does not stop there, does it?

Pope Francis is not perfect: he may provide disappointments; he may not be everything we think he should be. We may feel let down by certain remarks and acts; things that we hold dear may not be of the same level of importance to him. We may miss Pope Benedict and draw unfavourable comparisons between two Popes who were intellectual giants (John Paul II and Benedict XVI) and a new Pope who manifestly is not. We may not warm to him personally; we might find him impetuous. We may be irritated by his liturgical style.

Is this not all the more reason to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit upon Pope Francis? He has asked for our prayers and he does need them. He does bring gifts to the Papacy which our embattled Church needs at this time: that is why he was elected. We would do well to ponder that.

But if we don't believe that our prayers can help Pope Francis to become wiser in his understanding of his role as Vicar of Christ and become more fully a focus of Unity for Christ's Faithful, then we might as well give the game away. There is little point to complaining in comment boxes. More prayer, less chat.