Some look at Pope Francis and say "How can this be? It can not be. This man is not the real pope." They forget the sufferings of Our Lord. His agony in the garden, the scourging which was much worse than most of us imagine. Thanks to the Passion of the Christ movie we got a glimpse of it. The flagellum was a multi thonged whip with bits of bone, rock or metal attached along the length. This not only caused initial pain in being whipped but also ripped through the victim and tore off flesh which each lash. Our Lord suffered. It was not enough to torture Him by scourging but the Romans drove a crown on thorns onto His Sacred Head causing exquisite pain throughout His Holy Face. Every nerve affected by the thorns must have been on fire. Our Lord suffered. He was rejected by His own people, which must have caused more pain than all His physical agonies and then given a cross. Even if He carried the cross beam instead of the entire cross that was an appalling weight for a man in His condition. Our Lord suffered. Even without the scourging and the falls along the way to the Via Dolorosa, crucifixion was a horrible death. Our Lord suffered. Do you think His bride, Holy Mother Church should not imitate Him?
Holy Mother Church suffers from lousy Catholics, high and low. She suffers very much from lazy Catholics. She suffers from cowardice among her clergy. She suffers from bad priests who never should have been ordained. She suffers from monstrous bishops. She suffers from traitorous religious orders and she suffers when her children fall into heresy, fantasy, and childishness.
Saying that a pope who does funky, kick in the gut things is not a pope at all is just too easy, too much of a cop out. Unless someone credible can prove that Pope's Francis' election was invalid we need to leave that fantasy and face reality. Christ never said that the popes would all be like Peter or Gregory the Great and remember, the pope is NOT the Faith. The pope is the vicar of Christ. You don't have to like him. Just pray for him because things are bad and are going to get a lot worse.