On this Christmas Day in Prague, I give thanks for the many blessings of this year, both personally (and they have been many) and more universally, of which I place the arrival of the holy and compassionate Pope Francis at the very top of the list. Despite the frustrations of some gay activists at Francis's seeming lack of haste in redressing injustices to gay folks and making the institution truly more welcoming to us, I've felt his slower, more cautious approach is the more effective one in the long run, and seems truly inspired to me.
Here is a comment I found on the Being Liberal site which reflects my own sentiments exactly.
Whether it is intentional on his part or not, by opening the possibility for changes driven from the trenches, Frances has a better chance of moving the church forward than if he decreed change. Seeds for how the church can change after his time will be planted, as well. Plus, he is less likely to suffer kickback from the "conservative" leaders or worse if a groundswell begins.
And so among the many blessings I am grateful for this year, the appearance of this holy man at the helm of the bark of St. Peter appears to be the most auspicious. My only qualification would be that the above commentator's optimism regarding kickback may not be entirely realistic. There is no doubt that Francis is angering many very powerful people with his incisive criticisms of our present economic situation. May blessings and wisdom be upon him and may he be protected from the dark forces that always arise in response to such unmitigated goodness and courageous truth-telling.