While Pope Francis undoubtedly has progressive opinions about some matters and enjoys “making a mess,” he understands the pope’s role. He has said memorably that he has to be “the pope for those who want to step on the gas and those who want to slam on the brakes.” His speech after the synod warned church leaders frankly of the dangers of both the liberal and conservative streams of thought. He thanked the synod fathers for an open and frank debate, acknowledging that (although tense) this was the way to make progress. He affirmed the traditional role of the pope and challenged to synod fathers to move forward while at the same time not abandoning the timeless truths of Christ’s gospel.
A feud between Pope Francis and Cardinal Burke? Surely both men are bigger than that, and the gossips, scare mongers and journalists driven by secular ideologies should try to see the bigger picture and realize that it is through the differing personalities, the clash of cultures and the opposition of opinions that we see old truths in a new way and so discover a fresh way forward.