In short, the strong praise the Pope has won over the past four years, largely from those on the peripheries, outside the Church, or adherents to pastoral innovations, is matched by an internal unease, deep concern and genuine anguish by those who have trouble reconciling this pontificate with those of the past.
That discontent is heightened by the fact that these groups feel overlooked and not listened to (it’s widely known the Pope never acknowledges or replies to petitions or letters critical of Amoris Laetitia, for example, including the dubia). This and the fact that the reform the Holy Father has enacted is not the kind many of his cardinals were expecting when he was elected has led many of them here to frequently and discreetly ask: “What is to be done?”
Perhaps the Pope partly offered a solution himself during his pastoral visit yesterday to the Rome parish of St. Magdalene of Canossa. He told the children present that “listening is the first step of dialogue” and that “one of the ugliest diseases of today is the lack of an ability to listen, as if we had blocked our ears.”
Instead, he held up the “concreteness of dialogue,” what he called the “ear apostolate,” which begins by letting “the other always speak first” and then to “listen well.” Dialogue, he said, “is always a bridge.”