Which is just a long way of saying that I don't expect much from popes; I don't think it's fair to do so, and I think that when we have to expect a lot from a pope it can only be because all the rest of us have failed miserably at something we were supposed to get right. So, equally, I don't expect much from Francis and think it dangerous and doubtful to do so. I didn't expect much from John Paul II or Benedict XVI, either; and despite their fans I think they both end up very much mid-tier popes in terms of how much overall benefit the Church: lots and lots of mistakes, but they were also dealing with some difficult problems.
In our world of image and flash, though, it's weird how some of this plays out. Pope Francis gets very different press from that which Benedict XVI got, despite the fact that Francis repeatedly refers back to the ideas of his predecessor -- the three people he quotes most are Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI, and almost always when he says something striking he is summarizing one of the three. Benedict XVI was an introverted academic, whose favorite thing was academic discussion; he was non-confrontational and was always talking about how we all need to talk together. This is not what really comes across in much of his press, which treats him as cold and unfriendly and authoritarian. Pope Francis, on the other hand, is an extraverted social activist, peremptory in his communication style, who constantly tells people that they are wrong, and you would think from the press about him that he was not constantly scolding people for not doing as well as they should. Pope Francis likes the idea of dialogue, but it's going to be a pretty heated dialogue. And when you look at it all more closely, there's no doubt that this is what is going on. No matter how fluffy they try to present him as, he's a bit of spitfire.
In any case, Laurence England has a good discussion of a feature of Pope Francis's style that you can find buried -- but only buried -- in most of the press: the fact that he is constantly insulting people.
Indeed, here's some of the names the Pope has actually called people: "pickled pepper-faced Christians," "closed, sad, trapped Christians," "defeated Christians," “liquid Christians,” "creed-reciting, parrot Christians," and, finally, those "watered-down faith, weak-hoped Christians."
Catholics who focus on church traditions are "museum mummies," the Pope says. Nuns who fail to inspire faith in the church are "old maids," and the Vatican hierarchy has at times been "the leprosy of the papacy," in Francis' words.
Indeed, men of the cloth face the brunt of Francis' fulminations. He has called some of them “vain” butterflies, “smarmy” idolators and “priest-tycoons.” He’s described some seminarians as potential “little monsters.”
Anyone who has talked with enough people from Central or South America has almost certainly come across the trait, since while not universal, it is a very common Latin American cultural characteristic. People don't just say that something is incorrect or misleading; they call it lies, and if they disagree very strongly with you, they will call you a liar. There's no malice in it at all; it's just a lot more acceptable to talk this way than it would be in most English-speaking circles, where we feel the influence of the old longstanding British tendency to criticize as indirectly as possible. (There's an old joke that the difference between an English academic and a continental European academic is that when the English academic is absolutely certain of something, he will say, "It seems to be the case that one should accept this conclusion," while the European, when he thinks that something is probably true, will say, "It is patently obvious that we should accept this conclusion." It's the same sort of difference.)
It's amusing how colorful some of Francis's insults are, and England's discussion is quite good.