Charlie Johnston has an interesting post in his blog, 'The Next Right Step', which I post in full here: Perspectives on the Pope Posted on February 20, 2016 by charliej373 Beginning of a Perfect Day – by Thomas Kincade (Whew…it has been a wild week. As it turns out, neither Blessed Paul VI nor St. John XXIII said anything publicly about allowing contraception for nuns in danger in the Belgian Congo. Many prominent theologians were suggesting it – and neither Pope contradicted them on it, but that is the most that can be said about a public statement. Pope Francis has access to confidential Vatican files, so there may be something there that he was referencing. I am going to put up three pieces that I think offer useful perspectives on this kerfuffle – and then regroup and get back to it on Monday. The first piece is from a comment made by our reader, Joe. It was deeply insightful. Then there is a piece by John Kippley that Bishop Rene Gracida posted on his Abyssum Website that hits the main salient points. Finally, I offer a piece by National Review’s writer, David French. He is a faithful Protestant who is respectful of both the Pope and the Catholic Church. His is a thought, respectfully critical piece. Now as for the Kincade painting at the top of this article, I find Kincade’s work soothing – and we all need a little soothing this week, I think. -CJ) ******* First, the comment by our reader, Joe: By Joe “Charlie, I think Pope Francis needs to continue his flights and off the cuff marks. A year ago I would not have said that. But let me explain. Jesus though God was also man and spoke from a perspective. Jesus had and has his own personality. Pope Francis speaks from the perspective of a South American Citizen. In discerning his papacy I have the words “He is the good Father on the edge of his property calling back his lost son(s & daughters).” From my discernment we are in the time of the rebuking of the more conservative or traditional minded. Why? Because none of us is without error or inaccurate ways of thinking. You yourself have said this much when you spoke about the Job and the whirlwind. Thanking you for reinforcing this truth for me. That article helped me. In the beginning of his papacy I feared that he would somehow cross over his property (truth) to non truth. You have been a starch defender of the Papacy and it’s indefectibility, thank you for that. The Lord has dealt with me on this. I do not fear this as much. What can we learn from his (Pope’s) words? It is more than the words themselves but the Spirit behind the words. The heart of the Pope coming forth. Do we accept the rebuke of our own inaction? But even this it is not so much about action or inaction. Rather, I have discerned that the rebuke is more to the disposition of our souls. It is about measure. The confusion is not from him but from us. Why does the Lord deal with us first (the conservative minded). Because we must be better purified for when the lost children are caught up in the famine, so that when they return we would not become haughty or jealous in our hearts. We are to receive them and be the body of Christ to them. We are to seek their salvation as much as we seek our own. Maybe too his words are prophetic. Will not the storm make many in this country refugees seeking shelter? I have found in my life that enlightenment or insights only comes after a period of testing or confusion. As Jesus spoke and the blind were still blind, will we still be blind (confused) or will we hold on to faith and see? I saw earlier today, in my mind, a storm. A tornado if you will. In the tornado was Peter, secure on the rock. He spoke and his words were taken up and swirled around in the storm. Many people also were swirled up in the storm. But there was also people solidly fixed on the ground (fixed by their faith in Jesus Christ and his words). There was still words swirling around, but the people secure on the ground were not confused. The Spirit of Truth was in them (the light was within), they had no fear. Everything is going to change. Right? I have seen a soul as a rose. The rose was closed up. Like any rose it had outer and inner buds. I was shown that the outer buds pushing out do not affect the inner buds. What we see on the outside is not necessarily a sign of the inside (inner disposition of the soul before God). I then saw the inner buds pushing and seeking to come out. But it was more difficult. I saw it as almost impossible. Then I saw a single drop (the drop representing the grace or blood of Christ) falling on the inner buds and immediately the whole flower was brought to bloom. We will be judged on how we judge. We will be dealt with as is the disposition of our soul. So if I seek (with a humble heart) the rock and the water (truth) flowing from the rock will I not receive it and be made hole. Fear not the confusion, I would say to my brethren, it is a result of the disposition of our souls. It is but for a short time. It is necessary to bring to light that which is hidden in us so that those who may see may receive the water and be made whole. A physician cannot heal that which is hidden. It must be made known first (brought forth) and then the physician can begin to heal.” Profound wisdom from Joe, I think.