It seems to me that the Pope’s strategy is to merely talk about how dead and boring Roman Catholicism seems to people. And then he offers, as if it were a solution, a new emphasis on the poor or vague notions of love, as if Catholicism is just one gigantic charity or teddy bear dedicated to social renewal, since the “old” message of an individual’s spiritual renewal isn’t meaningful any longer.
But such appeals as what color of shoes the Pope chooses to wear now only tickles the ears of self-righteous people who think that caring for the poor makes them justified, when really they are spiritually poor, and naked, and dead in their sins. The draw here isn’t on the need of salvation, but on the need to be a Catholic for social reasons. Contrast this with the Apostles who constantly preached Christ and Him crucified, not amongst people who merely thought it wasn’t meaningful to their life anymore, but to people who wanted them dead for saying it.
It is odd that non Catholics care about the Catholic church. It is like looking into the window at our shop every day when you pass by.
A discerning judgment. And indeed the description below by Francis fits the church, most supremely that of Rome, thus far more convert to being evangelicals than the reverse, with the main reason not being doctrine, but that Rome did not meet there spiritual needs (see here ), though that is a result of her church centered doctrine.
1. The Church no longer offers anything meaningful or important.
2. The Church appears too weak.
3. The Church appears too distant from their needs.
4. The Church appears too poor to respond to their concerns.
5. The Church appears too cold.
6. The Church appears too caught up with itself.
7. The Church appears to be a prisoner of its own rigid formulas.
8. The world seems to have made the Church a relic of the past.
9. The Church appears unfit to answer the world's new questions.
10. The Church speaks to people in their infancy but not when they come of age.