Last weekend Pope Francis was giving a talk in Vatican City when a little boy climbed onto the stage and hugged the Holy Father's legs. The Holy Father sat him in his chair and continued his talk.
And all the teeny-boppers went bananas! Google the words "Pope Francis boy chair" and you'll see no less than three pages of links, all waxing giggly over this incident. Not one of these, to my recollection, had the text of the address that the Holy Father gave at the time. It was on Facebook too; I link to this very telling page, calling your attention to the comments.
Only two of us were so mundane and boring as to ask where the boy's parents were during this incident. I can tell you if my little boy had scampered away from me at that instant, I would have immediately and rather unceremoniously removed him from the stage. There would then have followed some "teaching moments" about proper respect and, more importantly, never leaving the side of your parents in a crowd situation. But I suppose I hoped for too much - not from the boy but from what I'd hope would be the "responsible" adult supposedly watching over the boy.
But there's an even more troubling mindset to be found within the comments. One of the comments sums it up with "FINALLY a people's pope." (Yes, the caps are in the original comment.) Pardon my french, but what the hell does that mean???? Does this individual understand the supreme insult she lobbed in the direction of the still-living Pope Benedict XVI or towards Blessed Pope John Paul II? Regrettably I suspect she did, as did some of the others.
You can see my own reply, right above that. I wonder out loud what qualifies Pope Francis, in the eyes of these folks, to be a "people's pope". I truly believe those qualities are, at best, silly and superficial. I say that not in criticism of Pope Francis at all, but of those who are spouting such brainless pronouncements about him. I truly believe Pope Francis would be mortified to hear himself being lauded at the obvious expense of Pope Benedict XVI. I suspect he'd be more interested in being "God's pope" first.