Over at Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter), the editor is already starting to wring his hands.
The editorial is a bit mawkish, but you can forgive that.
Here is a sample:
Francis is the exclamation point on Vatican II
Thomas C. Fox
I already hear concerns that the reformist church of 76-year-old Pope Francis might not survive his pontificate. I hear talk that the anti-reformists who took back the Second Vatican Council will likely do it again once Francis is gone from the scene.
We ask: Will a church groomed by compassion and mercy, as Francis would have it, be the church of our future? [Or will it be the oppressive Church of Benedict and JP2 with their torture chambers and auto de fé?] Will our church be guided, as if with a compass, by the lives and needs of marginalized people? Can a pastoral Catholicism, embedded in the Beatitudes, be the Catholicism we offer the world? [Good grief. Get this man some tissues, for the love of God.]
Viewed solely as a moment in church history, the Francis moment might not last. Post-Vatican II history teaches us that entrenched forces have ways of enduring. In this view, Francis could be a passing fancy. [big *sigh*....] However, from the long view of history, the Francis pontificate could well be the exclamation point on Vatican II — change and reform is the default mode of operation, not a one-time activity.
[... more sloppy stuff here... up to the big peroration!... ]
So, again, is our church on an irreversible, ever-reforming path? Or will Francis fade like the council, a meteorite in the night sky? [duh duh DUUUUUHNNNN!] Francis is the first pontiff educated during the council. He is a product of the council. In this sense, he is the first post-conciliar pontiff. Further, he embraces the theology and spirit of the council with seemingly unbridled affection. [Keep tuned to this channel. They're figuring out that their "spirit" and Francis' "spirit", might not be the same.] The Francis era is really a new phase in an unfolding church reform story, one, as Francis reminds us, that will be full of surprises. [And how, dear readers, is that different from any other modern pontificate?]
Not to kick a guy when he is down, but Pope Francis excommunicated the Australian, former-Father Greg Reynolds. HERE
Why did he excommunicate him? For upholding two things that Fox’s Fishwrap promotes: homosexual lifestyle and the ordination of women. (Not to mention Communion for quadrupeds.)
Get out your handkerchiefs.