There have been pontificates enough in which some Catholics have been familiar with obsessed and rambling popes; Pietro Caraffa, Pope Paul IV, for example, was full of detestation of all things Spanish, and wanted nothing better than to wage war with Queen Mary I and to cite Reginald Cardinal Pole for heresy.
Adrian Fortescue was among those who felt that S Pius X was somewhat obsessed with the war against Modernism, and might be better dead.
Perhaps some, more recently, have believed that Benedict XVI used his pontifical status to carry on his ecclesiological disagreement against Walter Kasper, investing his own views with his papal Magisterium. Personally, unlike many traddies, I have never felt that Kasper is 100% Bad; when the English Anglican bishops were considering the introduction of episcopussies, he came and read them a very categorical no-holds-barred explanation of what such a move would mean.
But I suspect that, whenever Benedict XVI engaged with his differences against Kasper, very few people simply dismissed his words as another example of poor old Ratzinger going on yet again ... delivering yet another rambling, rabid, bad-tempered, ill-argued diatribe about the priority of Ecclesia Universalis over against Ecclesia Particularis.
This is because Ratzinger was never a one-issue man. And never an obsessive.
When I returned home from hospital recently, and started again taking an interest in the News, how depressed I felt to recognise the same relentless, obsessive, onslaughts of PF against Tradition and those who rspect it.
Popes, poor poppets, should really try very hard to have more than one obsession.
Could somebody persuade PF to take up Stamp Collecting? Train spotting? Lenition in Patagonian Welsh?
He could make valued, peer-reviewed, academic contributions to the published literature on Eva Peron's taste in shoes.