For many Catholics, the Roman Catholic faith is nothing other than the version of Catholicism in their own hearts, minds, and lives. So when any Pope or Council speaks or acts contrary to that version, they automatically assume that the Pope or Council must be wrong. For them, the standard for judging all things in religion and morals is themselves. They are their own scale for weighing all things. Whatever contradicts their own understanding, can’t possibly be good or right in their view. So when Pope Francis speaks or acts contrary to the version of Catholicism inside their hearts and minds, they reject him.
But that is not how true faith works. Love, faith, and hope are infused theological virtues; they are gifts from God. And those gifts are transcendent, they are goods beyond the goodness of human nature. So we are not our own definition of goodness or truth. And the Faith is goodness and truth beyond what we find within our own natures.
We believe, because the teachings of the Church are the teachings of Jesus Christ. We believe, even when a Church teaching is difficult to understand or accept. We believe, even when the Church makes decisions on doctrine or discipline contrary to our own understanding or preferences. The faithful Catholic considers each and every Pope to be Teacher and Shepherd, regardless of his personality or socio-political leanings.
If you only accept the teachings of Pope Francis (or any Pope or Council) after you evaluate those teachings, and after you find them to be correct according to your own understanding, then you do not have faith at all. Faith is to believe beyond what your own fallen sinful mind can understand, beyond what your own heart can discover and confirm. Faith is to believe even when your heart does not see the full value of the teaching. For we are all fallen sinners, whose ability to reason and love is obscured by concupiscence and personal sin.
Whosoever rejects Pope Francis, rejects Christ. Whosoever rejects the Second Vatican Council, rejects Christ. Whosoever rejects any Pope or Council, rejects the plan of God for humanity, revealed in Christ Jesus.
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