Pope Francis is busy digging his hole ever deeper. When he ascended to the Papacy in 2013, he took the world by storm. There seemed to be a new ‘Pope Francis story’ every two weeks. Every quote he said was analyzed; every gesture he made swooned over. He was once Time’s Man of the Year – but no longer.
What’s going on with this? As a Protestant, I can only offer an outsider’s perspective. But it seems to me Pope Francis’ popularity has been on the decline ever since he endorsed the full-fledged migrant invasion of Europe.
Of course, the migrant invasion is the Left’s principal do-good cause du jour. But it’s not like we weren’t warned about Francis’ reaction to this.
The media’s endless fawning over the new pope was a huge red flag. Why was the Leftist media, and the Left in general, suddenly declaring they’d ‘go back to church’ for Francis?
Even many conservatives were hoodwinked. Before I became a right-wing nationalist as I am now, I too felt the ‘Francis effect.’ I appreciated his willingness to challenge conservatives’ thinking, not by denying our beliefs, but by asking us to see usually Left-dominated causes in a new light. Of course, that was a huge mistake.
(HINT TO CONSERVATIVES: When media loves you, it means you’re probably one of them. Leftists know their own.)
Rush Limbaugh, on the other hand, called the Pope out as a Marxist. Francis made the ‘Individual Leftists’ list on Discover the Networks. The usually-implacable Catholic traditionalist movement continued to call the Pope out as a progressive undermining the Church – and the media drumbeat went on and on.
Controversial statements of the Pope, usually endorsing a Leftist idea, were blamed by conservative priests or commentators on mistranslations by the media. Or they were framed in the ‘larger context’ of Church teaching. His fellowship with creeps like Cardinal Walter Kaspar; his dismissal of arch-traditionalist Cardinal Burke; and his appointments such as liberal archbishop Blaise Cupich were dismissed as political maneuvering.
But these ‘contextualizations’ have grown increasingly strained: only but the most foolish of the conservatives actually believes Francis is in the same intellectual/ethical league as Popes John Paul or Benedict.
Even so, JPII and Benedict were haunted by issues of their own; namely, the child sex abuse scandal. They also made nice with Islam; endorsed environmentalism; etc. etc. In an effort to appease the Left, they appeased no one. In America, Conservatism Inc. is learning this bitter lesson, too.
Francis, then, doesn’t so much represent a new era in the Catholic Church as he does its intellectual and moral regression to its current, degraded state. He is the living embodiment of the Church: torn between tradition and modernity, comfortable with a certain level of scandal and infected with the Zeitgeist: confused, uncertain, emasculated, irrelevant.
When once the Popes called for crusades against the Turks, uniting the whole of Europe in prayer, the current Pope can’t even call out Islam for its unusual predilection to violence. When once it was clearly understood that unborn children were being slaughtered en masse and something needed to be done about it, the current Pope campaigns against the Biblically-condoned death penalty. When once the Popes defended the rights of sovereign nations to exist as a unique expression of their Godly heritage, the current Pope literally invites their downfall.
There is extraordinary corruption of every kind at every level of the Church in every denomination: I knew the Church was supposed to be a house of sinners, but I didn’t think it was to be this bad. Having neglected the first half of Christ’s command to be “wise as serpents, but innocent as doves,” the Church has proven itself susceptible to every evil influence. Only a miracle can save it now.
Photo from indy100.independent.co.uk