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By Francis X. Maier, First Things, 8 . 21 . 23
Francis X. Maier is a senior fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Why is he shouting at us?” It was an innocent question, whispered at Mass in the middle of an agitated Pope Francis homily. My wife had arrived in Rome from the States the evening before, just as the 2015 Synod on the Family closed. She was unaware of the synod’s tensions over the previous three weeks, which I’d seen firsthand assisting several delegates. She was also unaware of the pope’s rough final comments to the assembled bishops, men who had just given the better part of a month away from their dioceses to do the synod’s work. I should add here too that my wife is a hardcore Catholic “lifer,” a forty-year veteran Catholic educator, and the kind of woman who always loves the pope. Any pope.
Now, the morning after, we sat in St. Peter’s Basilica while the papal homily concluded. Whatever Francis said and no matter his intent that morning, how he said it was received as hectoring by many of those present. …