It seems that not everyone in the MSM is an adoring fan of Pope Francis.
Pope Francis is the Catholic Church’s Obama – God help us
by Adam Shaw [I admit that I haven't heard of Mr. Shaw. I looked him up on Fox and did not discover much writing about matters having to do with the Church. See below.]
Pope Francis is undergoing a popularity surge comparable to the way Barack Obama was greeted by the world in 2008. And just as President Obama has been a disappointment for America, Pope Francis will prove a disaster for the Catholic Church. [I guess that is a "no" vote. It also strikes me as hyperbole. There have been really bad Popes in the Church's history, but she pulled through. Moreover, there is the role of the Holy Spirit. I, like Joseph Card. Ratzinger before me, don't believe that the Holy Spirit chooses Popes. I do believe that Holy Spirit prevents the elevation of a man who would be a total disaster for the Church. As Catholics, we know that one of the marks of the Church is her indefectibility. No attack on the Church, from within or without, will completely bring her down. There is no guarantee from the Lord that Hell and hellish minions won't bring down the Church in certain places, but the Church is indefectible.]
My fellow Catholics should be suspicious when bastions of anti-Catholicism in the left-wing media are in love with him. [True enough, but they will eventually turn on him.]
But Francis is beating a retreat for the Catholic Church, and making sure its controversial doctrines are whispered, not yelled – no wonder the New York Times is in love.
Just like President Obama loved apologizing for America, Pope Francis likes to apologize for the Catholic Church, thinking that the Church is at its best when it is passive and not offending anyone’s sensibilities. [Is that what the Pope is doing? Is the writer psychic? I think I could be counted as an experience top Pope-watcher, but I can't figure out what Francis is up to most of the time. I don't always like what I see, but I am not ready to come down on any one square yet.]
In his interviews with those in the left-wing media he seeks to impress, [I sense the writer is not a fan!] Francis has said that the Church needs to stop being ‘obsessed’ with abortion and gay marriage, and instead of seeking to convert people, “we need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.”
This softly-softly approach of not making a fuss has been tried before, and failed. The Second Vatican Council of the 1960’s aimed to “open the windows” of the Church to the modern world by doing just this. [I am beginning to wonder if, perhaps, the writer attends a certain kind of chapel.]
The result was the Catholic version of New Coke. [Okay. The gloves are really off now!] Across the West where the effects were felt, seminaries and convents emptied, church attendance plummeted, and adherence to Church doctrine diminished.
John Paul II and Benedict XVI worked hard to turn this trend around, but now Pope Francis wants the bad old days to resume.
Proof of this is Francis’ aforementioned statement of the Church being obsessed with controversial issues and the need to rebalance by talking about it less.
That Francis didn’t see that this would be translated into headlines of “Pope tells Catholics to shut up about things that offend Sandra Fluke” by every left-wing media outlet shows a terrifying naivety.
Nor do his comments reflect reality.
For years, the majority of priests didn’t dare cover controversial topics in their homilies in fear of getting angry letters from pick-and-choose Catholics outraged that their pastor dared to say something out of line with the Democratic Party. [Yes, the writer is correct on this point. When Pope Francis has spoken about all these people, especially priests, who are obsessed about rules and preaching only about abortion, etc., I had to scratch my head. Where are these people? Who are they? I sure haven't met them.]
In trying to please the media and the modern world, Francis mistakes their glee for respect. Just like Obama thought he’d won over Putin by promising a reset, Francis thinks by talking vacuously about the poor, he will be respected. And it is vacuous — the pontiff recently asked why it’s news that the stock market drops but not when an old person dies. When your leader is asking, “Why isn’t the newspaper a laundry list of obituaries?” you know you elected the wrong guy. [Okay. It's official. He is definitely not a fan.]
What effect is this having? [And now we get to The Francis Effect™.] For all we’re being told about how ‘disenfranchised’ Catholics are being brought back by Francis ‘reaching out,’ a recent Pew Research study showed that in America, the number of people who identify as Catholic has actually decreased. Lesson: rubbing the egos of Church-hating left-wingers doesn’t make more Catholics, it just makes the Church less respected. [Do I hear an "Amen!"? I mean... he's right, right? We can debate whether Francis is doing that, but the point is right.]
Francis not only panders to enemies and professional grievance mongers, but also attacks his allies. Just as Obama snubs Britain and Israel, Pope Francis swipes at practicing Catholics. [Well... he ... welll.... ]
So not only has he insulted, and severely damaged the work of, pro-life and pro-marriage groups with his comments, he has also gone on the attack, dismissing Catholics who attend the older rites in Latin as ‘ideologizing’ and being guilty of ‘exploitation.’ Apparently “Who am I to judge?” doesn’t apply here.
On world matters, Francis’ statements are embarrassing. About communism, a destructive ideology that slaughtered millions of Catholics, he said:
“Learning about it through a courageous and honest person was helpful. I realized…an aspect of the social, which I then found in the social doctrine of the Church.”
Not such kind words for the free market, however. In his recent apostolic exhortation he slammed unfettered capitalism, [I don't think the Pope used that phrase in Evangelii gaudium.] calling it ‘a new tyranny.’
Apart from the fact that there is no major nation practicing unfettered capitalism (like Obama, Francis loves attacking straw men) there is more real tyranny in socialist cesspools like Francis’ home of Argentina than in places where capitalism is predominant. [If only the writer were less inhibited! C'mon, Adam! What do you really think?]
As a Catholic, I do hope Francis’ papacy is a successful one, but from his first months he seems hell-bent on a path to undo the great work of Benedict XVI and John Paul II, and to repeat critical mistakes of the past.
Adam Shaw is a News Editor for FoxNews.com and has written on Anglo-American issues as well as topics related to the Roman Catholic Church. He lives in New Jersey and can be reached here[I looked up Mr. Shaw at the site of Fox News and didn't find much credited to him on "topics related to the Roman Catholic Church". Perhaps he writes copy and doesn't get credited. He does, however, have a lot to say about video games. HERE]
I wonder if we are seeing a new trend.
In any event, Shaw’s piece needed to be read.
I wonder if what sparked his was Pres. Obama’s nightmare speech on income inequality in which he quoted Pope Francis. Obama’s use of the Pope’s words was utterly slimy, of course. USA Today has it:
Blech. Reading Obama quote Francis gives me the same feeling as the sight of a slug crawl.
I have the combox open, but the moderation queue is switched on. This could get pretty ugly, and I have a busy day tomorrow.