Pope Francis I has not been in office a day before a deformative dynamic is already in the mix–and one particularly prevalent in North American Christianity. It is our tendency to assume the “United States view” is the norm for deciding whether or not the Pope is good or bad.
Such pseudo normativeness is the child of narcissim (false pride) and amnesia (forgetting we are a minority in global Christianity)—kind of like the time when people thought the earth was the center of the universe.
Clearly, individuals and groups have a right to their opinion, and dialog “in the public square” is necessary. But something deformative happens when we use our opinions arrogantly or as a veiled threat.
We are “members” of a larger “Body”—will we act like it, or not? The new Pope will make mistakes, maybe even major ones. And the Church (not just the RC portion of it) will continue to be imperfect.
But in our conversations, may we be spared from the notion that God stops “in the good old USA” before going to Rome to tell the Pope what he should do.