One of the more frustrating aspects of the current pontificate is the lack of information about Pope Francis prior to his pontificate, especially information about him as a man. DICI has put up an eye-opening interview about the Pope given by his niece:
In an interview posted at the Argentine website Tierras de América on August 12, 2014, the niece of Pope Francis, Maria Inés Narvaja, confides several observations about her uncle’s personality. She describes him as someone who is very attentive to the poorest of the poor. But, according to her, from a political perspective, Jorge Mario Bergoglio does not like labels. In looking at him, one might wonder “what side he is on. Certainly he cares a lot about social justice, but you never know whether he is on the left or the right,” she explained. “Maybe because theologically he is rather conservative, but pastorally he is rather progressive.” Another character trait that Maria Inés Narvaja emphasizes is Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s great discretion and his reluctance to speak about personal things, especially about his problems. “He is remarkably impenetrable,” she declares, adding that he is “very reserved”.
In this interview she also mentions her marriage, at first a civil marriage, with a man who was waiting for the declaration of nullity of his previous union by the ecclesiastical authorities. Four years later, she finally married in the Church. “During that whole period, he (my uncle) was a father to me and I am very grateful to him,” she explains. “He does not judge you, he will never tell you what you must do.”
Go here to read the rest. The Pope, while projecting an image of openess and transparency, is obviously someone who has kept his cards close to his vest for a very long time. Perhaps it is as a result of being “theologically conservative and pastorally progressive”, whatever that means, that may explain why the Pope has often expressed a desire not to judge those who clearly flaunt the teachings of the Church, while he is quick to judge on matters that are more tangentially related to the teachings of the Church. Thus factory owners receive a blast from the Pope for laying off workers while “gay” Catholics receive a shrug. Perhaps the Pope is a divided man who separates the teachings of the Church in traditional areas of the responsibility of the Church, sexual morality for example, as being reserved for preaching in Church, from secular matters where he can give voice to political sentiments. PopeWatch does not view that formulation as entirely accurate, but does wish that more people were interested in probing why Pope Francis seems to give different emphasis to the issues he speaks out on in the public forum from his immediate predecessors and what that would tell us about how he views the role of the Church in the world.