At times I am tempted to think there are some Catholics who measure their faith from the amount of self-delusion and utter blindness they display concerning the actions of Popes.
Apparently in the Vatican there are so many wolves you would think it is a forest in Abruzzo, but who put the alleged wolves there is obviously not worth the thinking. Until it turns out one particular wolf actually luncheswith the Bishop of Rome, who partout does not want to get rid of him. The Pope has also routinely been “badly advised”, as if the advisers were the ones with the responsibility of picking good advisers. The last one, I have read this morning in my comment box: the Bishop of Rome is now concentrating on the WYD, so he can't deal with Monsignor Ricca.
Look, the Pope is not a moron. He can choose for himself. Making decisions is, actually, the most important part of his job. Important decisions aren't so terribly frequent, particularly if one has good advisers and is not a compulsive control freak. This is why the most powerful people are in the end the ones who work the least; this is also why one can be a ninety years old leader, and a force of nature like Enrico Dandolo.
The Pope always has the time, because he does not have to do the preparatory work. Also, he always must have the brains, because otherwise he should not have accepted the offer, or should resign if he can't lead the Barque anymore; so the “he is old and weak” meme doesn't work, either. Ask Enrico Dandolo about that.
The Pope is in charge. To be in charge means not only to have the power to make decisions, but to bear the responsibility for the decisions one makes. Those who think the Pope is being inadequate criticise him, but those who think he is an old nincompoop led by the hand by his advisers positively insult him.
Nor is having a bad Pope something that denies Catholicism in any way. Having a good Pope is not part of the deal one gets as a Catholic. In fact, it is revealing that as V II promotes indifferentism and general ignorance of sound Catholicism, it also subtly but forcefully promotes Clericalism. Those who aren't instructed will rely the more on what the priest tells them, and will in time naturally believe that if the priest – more so, the bishop; more so, the cardinal; most of all, the Pope – did something, then it must be right.
In this blog I insist on the readers to make for themselves a sound foundation of Catholic doctrine, using sources after V II only if they are 100% above suspicion (say: the excellent SSPX books). This is very important now, but might become it more and more in the future as the foreseeable Papacies feed us with nothing more than easy, non controversial platitudes.
Part of this solid foundation is to know that a Pope is infallible only in extremely rare cases; that he is not picked by the Holy Ghost, but by the Cardinals; that he does not have to be a living saint and can well be a great sinner; and that he can well go to hell, where several of them very probably are.
Please stop making excuses for a Pope, because if you see the sin and bend over backwards to justify it you aren't being pious, but merely an accessory in this Pope's sin.
And don't worry: the Church eats bad Popes for breakfast, and she will bury the current Bishop of Rome as she has buried many bad, very bad or utterly rotten Popes in the past. The Church who survived every Empire and will stand when the United States are a footnote in the history books does not need for Bishop Francis to be a saintly man to keep existing, or to justify Christ's Truth. You believe what the Church believes because it is the Church of Christ, not because the Pope of the day is a saintly man.
Don't make excuses for the Pope as if he were the dumb child in the family. He is not a child, and he is most certainly not dumb. Look at his actions with the purest heart you can muster, and if you think he gives scandal, with the hand on your heart have the courage to say so; in charity as much as you can, but in truth all the time.
Catholicism always, Papolatry never.