We have had some time now to wonder what Pope Francis is all about. I notice that some Catholics who rejoice in the name "Traditionalist" are still being quite negative about him. This is mainly a matter of style, although some are now questioning the "content". I place the picture of Archbishop Levebre here with the Pope because I honestly think that this is the real conflict in some people's minds. I saw an interesting blog post the other day suggesting that Pope Benedict had been "Traditionalised". In other words that many Catholics had seen him as a reactionary figure (and they liked it). Unfortunately they ended up with a rather one dimensional view of Benedict and began to think that the Catholic Church was moving away from what so many had associated with Vatican 11.
It must be said that I do not accept the so-called "spirit of Vatican 11" because this usually means, in some important matters, something other than the actual teachings of the Council. I am one of those who agrees with the idea that some things went very wrong after the Council, and I am certainly happy that under Benedict we saw a greater freedom in the celebration of the Extraordinary Rite, but I think something has gone very wrong, with some Catholics, during the last pontificate. There is a need to redress the balance. A number of Catholics assumed, quite wrongly, that they are the "true Catholics" whilst those refusing to catch up with Benedict were still in a fog of some kind. It obviously came as a shock when Francis appeared on the scene.
There are some lessons to be learned here, and they will continue for some time until Catholics begin to understand what the Holy Spirit is doing. This requires humility and a broadening of one's vision. Nothing of what was gained during the last pontificate will be lost, but what needs to be corrected is what so many narrowly interpreted as Benedict's vision of the Church. Not that he was wrong, but that so many misread (perhaps wilfully in some cases) what he was about. Christ and His Church are bigger than our narrow perceptions of them and, by the way, Levebre was also VERY WRONG.