I've seen some non-Catholics insisting, why is that? Isn't this your leader? What - you don't like him cause he's liberal?
So I thought I'd answer the question: where's the orthodox Catholic pope love?
I fully admit I struggle with Pope Francis. I struggle with him because it seems that he's constantly misspeaking about our teachings, saying things that make the Western world go wild with speculation about us changing our beliefs - which seems to many to be inevitable. I struggle with him because I think he often acts/speaks first without thinking - a trait that is usually problematic, but is catastrophically so when you are the world leader of a much-hated religion. I get angry that he gives fodder to people who insist that Catholicism is shades of grey, that I can choose to live my Catholicism one way and they can live theirs another way because the Pope said so. It grieves me that his papacy is so often hailed as the complete opposite of Pope Emeritus Benedict's - because I saw Benedict three times in person and fell in love with him more each time.
But he also endears himself to me regularly. Some of his most oft-repeated quotes are seared in my brain: "a shepherd should smell like his sheep" has been something I have reflected upon repeatedly since I read it; and "the Church is a hospital for sinners" has stopped me in my tracks more than once, especially during Mass. I love the fact that he so clearly loves people, I love that he has such a big heart that sometimes he trips over it. I love that he makes Catholics who have mistaken their religion for a political party uncomfortable - I am so glad that he makes the West uncomfortable when he talks about the poor and the marginalized, especially immigrants. To my delight, he defies categorization as left or right and seems to annoy everyone. I think that is a good thing, because we all run the risk of making our Catholicism small - making it about our pet issues when really it's so much bigger and holistic than that.
The thing about Pope Frances is that when you talk of him, you can never really be sure what to say. There's so much to love and so much to confound; much to celebrate and to mourn. When he speaks, we always want to believe the best - but it's so rarely clear that's what he means. Perhaps that's why we're silent - because, just like the rest of the world, he's simply giving us a lot to think about.