Before his election, Cardinal Bergoglio warned his brother cardinals about the danger of a “self-referential” church, a self-absorbed church that speaks more about itself than about Christ. Today, ironically, it seems that many are speaking more about the pope than about either the church or Christ!What is going on is that papal interviews are coming so fast and furious that they are consuming a lot of attention. The trouble is that when we talk about Pope Francis we are actually doing exactly what he does not want us to do. We are focusing on the political dynamics of the church and not focusing on being Christ to the unchurched the way he wants us to.
The trouble is Pope Francis' way of speaking makes hard to ignore. He says a lot of things that need to be clarified. People take things out of context and intentionally or accidentally trumpet this great new papal teaching that is actually not what he is saying at all.
Sometimes it is a person who is panicked that the pope might be destroying the church. There really is not need to panic. Pope Francis is a solid Catholic. Besides, it is God's job to preserve His church. It is not ours. So if Pope Francis is taking the barque of Peter off course the Holy Spirit will correct it back. Of course there is also the chance you could be wrong and his course turns out to be exactly right for the church. We always tend to underestimate how likely that is!
So what do we do? Don't fight about what he said. Just do what he does. Try and interact with people who are on the edge of the church or completely lost. Be yourself. Don't be overly focused on theological precision. Just love people and let your love for Jesus show. Don't worry about the details. Don't worry about looking foolish. You are a new creation. Show yourself off!