One of its faces is that of the Popes. We see the Popes doing a mass or riding in the Popemobile, smiling, waving and, in general, projecting affection and humbleness. There are the steady stream of press releases portraying Popes as blessing some down- troddened group or warmly hosting world leaders.
Priests project a similar persona. The ones I have known are likable, friendly and gregarious.
There is another face of the Catholic Church. This other one is almost not a face at all, but an iron fist. It’s the institutional Church.
This latter face is not humble at all. It projects power and arrogance. There is no tolerance of anything that challenges its authority or theology.
The Catholic Church does not want to be seen as just another non profit. Instead, it sees itself as more important than any other organization on the face of the globe.
The problem with these two faces is that one is putting smudge marks on the other. The arrogance and lack of accountability allowed sex crimes to be not reported to law enforcement. Arrogance meant the problem must be handled internally.
The smiling and humble face of its clergy is now not as trusted and loved. Its ham-handed efforts to defeat President Obama and align itself with the Republican party put its clergy on the opposite side of the majority of its members.
A new Pope is an opportunity for a more humble organization. Both faces could appear smiling and humble.