I admit that I’m a bit uneasy with this thing. It feels to me more like competition than dialogue. I fear it becoming a proxy war, but at the wrong level.
I get that. But I’m not sure that’s the whole diagnosis. In the 1978-2013 era, petitions were drafted all the time. It was openly encouraged in curial documents. Some of us have even been the target of such documents–attempts at filial correction and a well-placed kick in the rear (or stab in the back). Many aspects of Catholic behavior in the final decade before Pope Francis were outright ugly.
My take is that people get discouraged. This petition is more a salve or an immunization against that. My comment at the other site:
The petition is for the signers more than it is about Pope Francis. There’s nothing wrong with a little pick-me-up amongst friends, allies, and colleagues. God made us and knows we need it now and then. I suspect Pope Francis would direct us more to the ministers in our immediate neighborhood. It might be a matter of lending a hand to a colleague in need and taking that opportunity for a mutual discussion–how are you, how is your family, this was my call to ministry; tell me about yours–something more uplifting. Praying with them and for them.
The key is not to focus too much on oneself. The Holy Father would likely point us to serve and care for others, those feeling discouraged and bothered. And to be prepared to receive what we seek in prayer.