In light of the comments he made on the flight from Mexico recently, this came home for me this morning as my wife and I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries in the Scriptural Rosary.
Francis speaks in nuanced language, much like Jesus did in say, Mark Chapter 14, which is meditated on in the second mystery, The Scourging at the Pillar:
60 The high priest rose before the assembly and questioned Jesus, saying, “Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?”
61 But he was silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him and said to him, “Are you the Messiah, the son of the Blessed One?”
62 Then Jesus answered, “I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.’”
63 At that the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further need have we of witnesses?
64 You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as deserving to die.
After I had read verse 62 above for the 4th Hail Mary, my dear wife stopped me and asked me a question. Her question was "What would you think if somebody walked up to you on the street and made the statement Jesus made?" It is a good question, and my response to her, less in answer but as a clarification, was that these were the same people who had known that He preached in their synagogues, performed miracles, and walked and lived among them for 3 years. Though that might have made it easier for them to anticipate His answer, it did not make the truth of the answer any easier to absorb and believe.
Before the verses above people came forward to testify against Him, and lied through their teeth. But, when the high priest, Annas asked Jesus if He was the Messiah, he was not prepared for Jesus' answer. It did not line up with what he believed about the coming Messiah, and so he considered it blasphemy. It also did not line up with the fear that they all lived in of disturbing the status quo with their Roman conquerors.
Annas and the Sanhedrin were intent on being right, and protecting themselves, and so they let the truth slip right by them, with nary a nod of the head to it.
The correct answer for the high priest to the question: "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?" would have been: "No, not me, everybody knows I am just the son of the carpenter." And, of course, for levity, he could have followed that up with: "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46)
It appears that Annas was flabbergasted because he tore his robes when Jesus said "I am."
18 “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.20 Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.21 And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.
So, whether Jesus responds "I am" to a question, or Francis says: "…if he wants to address illegal immigration only by building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border" the answer is not the answer the survey says was the (politically) correct answer. Interestingly enough since we are all family, this is a form of Family Feud, but not the oft watched television show by that name.
Remember Matthew Chapter 10, where Jesus is preparing the twelve for ministry:
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
35 For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’
Our Holy Father is in good company when he challenges us, though he is not infallible as His predecessor was and is.
Before you condemn words purported to come from the mouth of Pope Francis, remember the anointing that he is under. Remember also that the media is under no such anointing, and verify what was actually said and its context, including its translation into English. If by chance, it was spoken in English, remember that English is not a first language for our Papa. Then, if you still think he erred, check again because you are probably wrong. Then, if all else fails and you actually have a grasp of the truth that is deeper than that of Our Holy Father, try not to dislocate your shoulder as you pat yourself on the back.