The Catholic Church is the embodiment of Catholicism, the people who are Catholics. It also is the institution headed by the Pope. Catholics pray for the two to be one, and search for peace when they’re not one. They’re not one when the institution’s words and actions fail to be one. Words matter, but actions matter more than words.
Jesus told people how to live righteously, and always showed them how to live righteously. He told people “Come, and you will see” and “Follow me”. [John 1:35-43]
Pope Francis tells people how to live righteously, but doesn’t always show them how to live righteously. He tells people to live in ways that differ from the way he lives.
Who can understand Pope Francis striking and scowling at a woman who sought nothing other than to touch the sleeve of his priestly robe as he paraded among the people?
Who can understand Pope Francis preaching from within the Vatican’s walls against border walls everywhere else?
Who can understand Pope Francis preaching from within the immigrant-free Vatican against restricted immigration everywhere else?
Who can understand Pope Francis preaching against environmental pollution without first banning private jet travel by or on behalf of the Holy See?
Who can understand Pope Francis preaching that abortion is murder, without excommunicating or withholding Holy Communion from Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden?
Catholics understand and appreciate the value of mystery. However, would that Pope Francis presented fewer mysteries.