At the Catholic Herald, Fr. Oddie writes, my emphases:
What I had written was that “the very fact of the existence of a corpus of writings like that of Pope Benedict, as pope, as cardinal prefect, and before that as academic theologian, is an implicit standing reminder to Pope Francis that smiling and personal attractiveness aren’t enough to sustain a papal ministry, that doctrine can’t be ‘up for grabs’ [a quotation from Cardinal Francis George], and that it’s part of his function to make sure that everyone knows that.”
I went on to say: “The real question is whether the two really do have intrinsically different attitudes to the Catholic Church’s possession of the absolute and objective truth about human existence…” Well, the answer to that is quite simply “NO THEY DON’T”: and the present Holy Father himself gave it in a little-noticed passage in the final address of the recent sessions of the continuing synod (sequel next year) on the family, with his clearly articulated confrontation with those who, as he put it, give in to the “temptation to come down off the Cross, to please the people, and not stay there, in order to fulfil the will of the Father; to bow down to a worldly spirit instead of purifying it and bending it to the Spirit of God. The temptation to neglect the ‘depositum fidei’ [the deposit of faith], not thinking of themselves as guardians but as owners or masters [of it].”
The trouble is that this passage went largely unnoticed by the media (including the Catholic media). So the confusion continues: what is needed now is a sustained articulation of this theme, so that it becomes more widely understood that the idea that there is a major project under way to dismantle the teachings of the Church, beginning with its teachings on marriage and sexuality, is a pure fiction.