Much confusion and possibly risky decisions might thus be avoided.
Pope Francis has underlined this by rushing to give interviews on controversial issues, answering and making phone calls to strangers in distant places on demand, and radically changing the style and accoutrements of papal leadership.
Already there have been contradictions.
The most serious occurred in mid-September.
He was quoted excoriating the church’s obsession with small-minded rules that are driving the faithful away.
In an interview in a Jesuit journal, Civilta Catolica, the pope urged his priests to focus more on mercy and forgiveness and stop dwelling only on such controversial matters as abortion, gay marriage and contraception.
He said the church’s teaching on these issues was well-known, so there is no need to repeat it at every opportunity.