I had an interesting interior experience recently. It was very enlightening.
A priest friend asked if I were still happy about Pope Francis. I said I thought he was awesome.
This priest responded that he wasn’t so sure, and had questions.
I asserted that the new pope is great because he’s the new pope, and is a man of integrity, faith and learning.
This priest indicated that he had heard rumors about potential appointments the new pope would make to various Vatican offices.
I asserted that whatever decisions may be made probably wouldn’t affect him in his celebration of Mass.
This pastor of souls more or less accused me of being naïve.
I asked if he wanted the benefit of the doubt from his parishioners that he was not affording the new pope.
He asked if I thought he were that shallow. I didn’t respond directly…
Then he said something along the lines of, “I don’t think he (Pope Francis) is up to the task.”
I found this shocking, since no one is up to that task, and wasn’t quite sure who this pastor thought would be so great that all would be beautiful and perfect in the Church.
Then, thinking about this, and after hearing from another priest about rumors of things to come, I googled certain words, and found a webpage or two with rumors about supposed future appointments by the new Pope. They were not happy posts/news articles. It was disturbing, if such things go through.
Then, I went back to reading the new encyclical, Lumen Fidei. I only had about ¼ left to read. I found that I was internally disturbed to the point that I was annoyed by what I was reading. It was a feeling that I could not shake until I realized what I had done: allowed the negativity of rumor to affect my affective, interior life, to the point that I found a beautiful document by the Pope to be annoying.
Rumor was never considered a friend of man. It is more of a spiritual infection that passes from mouth to ear (webpage to eye?) and creates division and angst. Flee from it. The truth, not rumor, will set you free.