This is welcome news for me.
I was in Rome in my early twenties, a pilgrim who frequented St. Peter's. While there, I was blessed to attend Masses with the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI. At the time he was 'my pope' - I expect not unlike young people considered Blessed John Paul II to be 'their pope' while he was alive. Truth be told, the pope is the pope - the one who occupies the chair of Peter, he is the Vicar of Christ. Each pope has his own personality - each pope I love and cherish with a special devotion. However, the reigning pontiff radiates a particular attraction, in a charismatic sense, especially to the young and the faithful.
In those days, I wore a crucifix, a copy of the gnarled crosier Paul VI initiated, the same one used by John Paul II, and for a short time by Benedict XVI. My devotion for the Holy Father was intense, and for that reason I wanted to be identified with him by wearing a small replica of his crucifix. I recall two priests mocking me one day, in a little cafe near the train station, for speaking of him as the "Holy Father' - they were certain that since I was an American, it was an affectation. As I attempted to convince them otherwise, they made fun of me even more. I was used to stuff like that.
Years later, a friend of another priest friend of mine, a somewhat pompous, if not arrogant professor at the local university, once corrected me in a conversation involving Pope Paul VI. I mentioned I thought that Pope Paul was 'great' - not at all in the sense people like to attribute to Blessed John Paul II however - I was simply trying to express my enthusiasm for the late pope. I believed him to be holy, a 'suffering servant' and a prophet - due in part to Humane Vitae of course. The priest interrupted me, saying, "I wouldn't call him great... not at all!" And then he proceeded to denigrate the late pope, pointing out his weaknesses and faults. My enthusiasm for Paul VI wasn't at all diminished, although my respect for the foul-mouthed professor certainly was.
In my opinion, the declaration of venerable is a much greater honor than being titled 'great'...
For some reason the arrogant things priests say make a deep impression upon others. Much more so than the things lay people can say - often in their ignorance.
The arrogant are sent away empty.