Trying to answer all of the questions above in one post:
Buzz, I talked about the church volunteering to give up its tax-exempt status. Are all non-profits exempt from paying taxes? If not, then churches paying taxes is consistent with that. This Pope did choose less opulent living quarters than other Popes, but that doesn't mean that they aren't still very nice quarters. Bishops and cardinals live pretty well, too. Jesus and St. Francis did not live like these church leaders live today. I believe their message resonated with those who listened to them because they lived like those who were listening to them.
The Pope has the same freedom of speech as anyone else, but I think there is a line between politics in religion. Is there any form of govt you know that believes in distribution of wealth from each according to his means & to each according to his need? Then the Pope is crossing into a political arena. I don't think that good can come of it. Islam acknowledges Jesus as a "great teacher, but that doesn't stop many of them from killing Christians ... because the words of Mohammed are considered more important than Jesus. So, if non-radical Muslims have high regard for Pope Francis, maybe some of them will speak up about the massacre of Christians taking place in their countries?
Raised as an RC, I left, because I had trouble with papal infallability and also disagreed with the position on contraception. On that latter, the church at the local level, waffled on that as well, just not addressing the question of papal infallability. I believe in the Constitutional right of freedom of religion, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with all of them; or agree with all their leaders.
Franco, I have utmost respect for the charitable works of the Catholic Church; and other Christian charities. I just do not agree that the state-coerced charity is the same thing talked about in the Bible.
Legitimate charity is from the ballot box: not sure individuals end up getting to say a lot about it that way. If a majority of the people don't support O-care (in which redistribution is involved), and it was made into law by the Senate gutting the text of a bill passed in the House that was totally unrelated to ACA, can we really say the ballot box had a lot to due with the end result? Did we vote for Obama phones? Did anyone ask us about that? Yes, I know, it was started by an R, but did we vote for it? Even the things we do vote for end up being bastardized by the bureaucracy.
In fact, it appears that charity is more effectively administered by organizations closer to the situations that need improvement (both addressing the issues most needing improvement & in getting funds to the people who truly need them.) Perhaps Pope Francis has not seen enough of how much waste goes into the process of redistribution when it passes through the bureaucracy of the state.
There is a very short book, written by a former priest, called "Joshua". It's just a short book, but explores how Jesus might appear in a more contemporary society. It's fictional, but very thought-provoking.
The Pope has made game-changing decisions: The decision to endorse redistribution of wealth by the state? The two most notable countries, Russia and China, who have endorsed that as their MO have not been kind to the church in the process. Time will tell where this will lead.