Here is an overarching concern I take away from my first readings.
Through interviews – and the coverage of interviews – a “virtual Francis” is being created. An interview, by its nature, can only go so far. Short questions and short responses only go so deep.
We have to make sure that, with all the media attention, with all these interviews, that the “virtual Francis” is not stronger than the real Francis.
That is exactly what Benedict XVI – in his last days as Pope – said and warned about how the Second Vatican Council was interpreted. The media and others created a virtual Council. Remember that? There is a Council of the Media and a Council of the Fathers.
Week by week a Francis of the Media is being crafted.
Pope’s don’t govern through interviews.
Pope Francis’ speaks about a lot of heavy and burning issues: the role of women, abortion and homosexuality, to name a few. There is not a word in the interview that changes the Church’s teaching. He indicates what his interests and focus for his limited time and energy is going to be. That is an important take away from the interview.
If this Pope isn’t going to speak out a great deal about abortion or homosexuality, it’s because he knows that everyone is perfectly clear about what the Church teaches on these points. Francis – as is consistent with his old-fashioned Jesuit training – wants to be efficient in the use of his time and energy.