Now read this remark from a reader, echoing lots of similar remarks:
I thought you might be interested in the following anecdotes. I have a number of friends who are non-catholic, and indeed a number of friends who are openly skeptical of the church. A number of these folks have been expressing admiration for the pope and how he has been living the gospel. In conversations with these folks nearly all of them have agreed that the pope has quickly established himself as the moral leader of the world. I have no illusions that these folks will suddenly convert (formally) to Catholicism. However, the mere idea that the holy father’s simple example is inspiring people and causing them to see the pope and the church as a major moral force in the world is inspiring. I give thanks every day that the Holy Spirit inspired the conclave to give us this leader at a time when the world so clearly needs a moral leader.
A decade ago the Church was on the mat, bloodied and beaten down by the horrors of the priest scandal, never to rise again. Now, this amazing renewal of interest in the Church! This is what speakers of English call an “opportunity” for the Church to bear witness to Christ with fresh vigor and power. Carpe diem! Don’t waste time navel-gazing, or fretting about the “true motivations” of the people who are listening. Jesus didn’t have the crowds who followed him take a Purity Oath or a Myers Briggs eval or a theological exam or a motivational quiz before he preached to them. He just preached and let the chips fall where they may. This is a Catholic Moment. Grab it and make use of it. The dumbest thing we can do is fret about whether the “right” or “wrong” people are listening to Francis. We are *all* Wrong People, especially those who think they are the Right People. That’s why Christ died for us. Get going!