People seem to go out of their way to be scandalized by Pope Francis. Despite a guileless love of humanity and conspicuous charisma at evangelizing, it seems people like to find trouble in his speaking and writing.
Might be getting to him. To an audience of over 70,000 teenagers this weekend in Rome’s Olympic stadium, Francis got right to the point, a point no one could miss even if they tried: “Freedom is not always about doing what you want…Your happiness has no price. It cannot be bought and sold; it is not an application you can download on a phone. Even the latest version cannot help you grow and become free in love.”
Then this 79-year-old troublemaker heard confessions from teenagers, sitting side by side with him in St. Peter’s Square.
Pope Francis has blown into the papacy like a storm, and seems to have disturbed Catholics and non-Catholics with some unadorned, pastoral talk and unexpected criticisms.
I keep thinking, even when I, too, am concerned or confused, that there had to be a very good reason or reasons for the conclave of cardinals to choose the man from Buenos Aires. The storm clouds parted this weekend.