Every Catholic should hold a reverential regard for the Pope as the Vicar of Christ on earth. The Papacy is one of the greatest gifts Jesus left His Church. I am not blind to the scandals and would not deny the fact that the papacy, and many of its occupants, had not always lived up to its higher calling of integrity and service. One need only read the pages of Church history. Although I miss Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, with his profound love of the truth, his gentle and humble witness, I am slowly warming up to Pope Francis. His lack of liturgical appreciation disturbs me sometimes since I share Benedict"s view that liturgy is an act of worship and we are part of that great assembly of the faithful who enter into the great mystery and awesomeness of the transcendent. I also share Benedict's strong stand that we cannot arbitrarily enhance or detract from liturgy, to suit our own liking. But I read a Vatican commentator say one time that Pope Francis is a Jesuit and Jesuits are not known for their liturgical sense.
Pope Francis is certainly a breath of fresh air to a Church who has been suffering from the staleness of Vatican bureaucracy and rigid policies. He has successfully, so far, drawn many of the faithful to look at the Gospel values with new eyes and to convince many that the path to God need not be so complicated, cerebral, and hopeless. His simplicity, spontaneity, and great personal witness to love of neighbor and preferential love of the poor, touch the core of every man and woman's search for authentic Gospel living. The many news articles of conversions through Confessions, and large Papal audiences, bear witness to this "springtime" in our Church. In his short time as Pope, he has borne fruits, attesting to the vigor and strength of the tree. "By their fruits, you shall know them." (Matthew 7:16) Please God, let our new Pope bring ever closer those who have been away from the source of all their good- to Jesus Our Lord through His Church, the Bride of Christ.