During the Wednesday General Audience, Francis strongly rebuked those who, in an organized way, as accusing people of being schismatic simply because they are exercising parrhesia.
Here is something of his address (my translation):
And the Apostles create seven deacons, and among the seven “deacons”Stephen and Philip are distinguished in a special way. Stephen evangelizes with strength and parresia, but his word meets the most obstinate resistance. Finding no other way to get him to stop, what do his opponents do? They choose the basest solution to annihilate a human being: that is, calumny [calunnia – slander, libel, detraction] or false testimony. And we know that calumny always kills. This “diabolical cancer”, which comes from the desire to destroy a person’s reputation, also assaults the rest of the ecclesial body and seriously damages it when, due to petty interests or to cover up one’s own inadequacies, a coalition forms to smear someone. [For example, a coordinated effort to label critics of Francis as “schismatic”.]
Conducted in the Sanhedrin and accused by false witnesses – the same thing they had done with Jesus and the same thing they will do with all the martyrs through false witnesses and calumnies – to defend himself Stephen proclaims a reinterpretation of sacred history centered on Christ. And the Easter of Jesus, dead and risen, is the key to the whole history of the covenant. In the face of this superabundance of the divine gift, Stephen bravely denounces the hypocrisy with which the prophets and Christ himself were treated. And he remind them of history, saying: “Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, whose traitors and murderers you have now become”(Acts 7.52). He doesn’t use half words, but he speaks clearly, he tells the truth.
This provoked a violent reaction from his listeners, and Stephen was condemned to death, condemned to stoning.
This sounds very much like, in Francis’ telling, what the coalition who have put themselves forward to defend his every off the cuff remark as if it were an oracle of the Fifth Apparition of Vishnu, are doing to people like Card. Burke… who, in the College, is a Cardinal Deacon. He is a Cardinal Deacon not afraid to wear the red cappa which recalls the blood of martyrdom.
Team Francis are flinging stones of calumny. I hope they will take Francis’s words to heart.