Yes, there have always been terrible popes. I don't really pay attention to him since I find him opaque and he doesn't really offer me anything for my faith. The only time you really need to listen to him is when he is declaring something new Ex Cathedra, which hasn't been done since the Dogma of the Assumption in the 1950s.
For most of the history of the Church most Catholics had no idea what the pope was saying or doing most of their lives. It's only in the last century or so regular people have gotten used to paying close attention to them and reading the things they write, and we've been lucky until recently to have had mostly comprehensible Papal writings but when they don't have anything to offer on a personal spiritual level there's no reason to read them.
Separate the office from the man.