Francis was in total obedience with the Church and the message that Pope Innocent III had as the Vicar of Christ. He expressed it in his words.
“Blessed is the servant who has faith in the clergy who live uprightly according to the Roman Church”
“The Lord gave me and still gives me faith in priests who live according to the rite of the Holy Roman Church because of their orders that were they to persecute me, I would still want to have recourse to them.”
“I desire to respect, love and honor them and all others as my lords. I discern the Son of God in them and they are my lords.
“We must honor all theologians and those who minister the most holy divine words and respect them as those who minister to us spirit and life.”
Pope Benedict said that Christ had given his apostles, and the bishops who succeeded them, the duty to ensure that the faith is passed along without dilution or distortion. Although the Pope “must be aware that he is a weak and fragile man,” he cannot avoid this responsibility, the Holy Father continued. He must execute his teaching function, fulfilling the mandate from Christ, because “when Sacred Scripture is separated from the living voice of the Church, it falls victims to the disputes among experts.”
The Pope acknowledged that papal authority is a stumbling block for some people, who see the teaching magisterium as a threat to freedom of belief and of conscience. But he explained that the Pope’s authority is not really his own, since “the ministry of the Pope is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word.” As teacher, he continue, the Pontiff “binds himself and the Church in obedience to God’s Word, in the face of all attempts to adapt that Word, or water it down, and in the face of all forms of opportunism.” Benedict XVI went on to say that his predecessor, John Paul II, was carrying out this task when he repeatedly demanded respect fro human life, in the face of mounting public opposition. “The freedom to kill is not true freedom, a but a tyranny that reduces human beings to slavery,” he said.