I found this amazing. Somebody sent Father Z. a translation of an interview with Cardinal Meisner.
In it, Cardinal Meisner relays how he directly asked the Pope about his teaching style using interview and short speeches with remarks that need further explanation. Cardinal Meisner relays that the Pope got ‘big eyes’ and asked for an example.
“At my last meeting with Pope Francis, I had the opportunity to talk very open to him about a lot of things. And I told him that some questions remain unanswered in his style of spreading the gospel through interviews and short speeches, questions which need some extended explanation for people who are not so involved. The pope looked at me “with big eyes” and asked me to give an example. And my response was : During the flight back from Rio you were asked about people who divorced and remarried. And the pope responded frankly: People who are divorced can receive communion, people who are remarried can’t. In the orthodox church you can marry twice. And then he talked about mercy, which, according to my view, is seen in this country only as a surrogate for all human faults. And the pope responded quite bluntly that he’s a son of the church, and he doesn’t proclaim anything else than the teachings of the church. And mercy has to be identical with truth – if not, she doesn’t deserve that name. Furthermore, when there are open theological questions, it’s up to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to give detailed responses“.
As noted by Father Z., the Pope doesn’t seem aware of the chaos that followed some of those remarks and the way they were taken by those who are not loyal sons of the Church.
It seems that the Pope takes for granted a deeper understanding of Catholic teaching as the necessary context of his remarks. But many of those in his audience do not have such context and predisposed to reject Church teaching. In short, the Pope doesn’t know his audience well.
Further, if the Pope doesn’t know his audience, he likely does not know the effect on those Catholics in the trenches who try everyday to bring the truth part of mercy to those who reject such truth.
At the end, I am thankful that the Pope does not intend such things. Hopefully now that it has been brought to his attention, he will include the full truth with mercy in his future answers so as not to be misunderstood.