Monday, June 23, 2014

Fr Ray Blake: The 'real' Francis

One can't but be touched by Pope Francis' spontaneous acts of kindness, in the video above he stops his motorcade to embrace a family group waiting to see him pass, it is moving, it is obviously unplanned, it is spontaneous, the sense of delight on the family actually brings tears to ones eyes.
This is obviously the 'real' Francis, the problem is separating what is real and what is staged. The 'media age' makes us all cynical and sceptical. I couldn't help thinking that possibly Greg Burke or Fr Lombardi had been out with a spray can just before the Pope passed that particular bit of Bethlehem wall. Well maybe not, but it was obviously carefully selected, to present the messages of the Holy Land visit to the English speaking world Vatican Monday, always an interesting read, discusses: Pope Francis, between spin doctors and the Gospel.

Active, involved Catholics, especially younger ones, are more likely to be sceptical about everything the media offers, especially when it comes to it presentation of the Church. After almost a year and a half of Francis' reign we are all familiar with his 'image' but uncertain about the reality and where he will lead us as the Vicar of Christ. The problem is the very 'spin machine' that has presented him as bit of rebel, as a revolutionary, as someone who might make a break with 'Tradition', or even like those American sisters 'move beyond Jesus'.

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