Pope Francis well knows that whenever he speaks into a microphone, he is addressing not only those present but the whole world, in his capacity as leader of the Catholic Church. Therefore, his words are open to scrutiny.
Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, archbishop emeritus of Hong Kong, calls the looming Vatican-China deal a "shameless surrender" that legitimizes the communist regime's episcopal appointments and "enslaves the Church."
Bishop Schneider of Kazakhstan says in Rome today, churchmen "live in a climate of threats and of denial of dialogue towards a specific group" — that is, towards anyone not in lockstep with Francis's reform movement.
When John Paul II and Benedict XVI commanded the chair of Peter, conservative and orthodox Catholics knew the pope and Magisterium were their 'court of last appeal.' That privilege now belongs to liberal Catholics.
German Cardinals Marx and Kasper have implied by their words and actions that national episcopal conferences can form their own doctrinal and pastoral policies apart from Rome and contrary to the Church's universal teaching.
Oscar Andres Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga has opined, "I'm firmly convinced we are at the dawn of a new era in the Church, just as when Pope John XXIII opened its windows 50 years ago and made it let in fresh air."
While Pope Francis doesn't deny the truth or the faith, he implicitly calls some of it into question, not only by his call for a re-ordering of priorities, but through his uncertain and inexact language.