Like many lifelong Catholics, I recently hit the boiling point with regards to our current Pontiff. Pope Francis never misses an opportunity to, in the harshest of terms, condemn capitalism, the demonstrable successes of western nations, and the virtues of individual liberty. At the same time, he has a nasty habit of praising some of the planet’s worst systems and nations.
In the span of a few decades, we went from a Pope who teamed with Reagan to defeat the Soviet Union, to a Pope who embraces the classist financial rhetoric of our old enemies. This, of course, has made him a darling of the normally religion-averse left who’ve abandoned decades of Catholic mockery in order to portray Francis as a font of economic, environmental, and geo-political wisdom.
Back in 2015, I’d heard enough of what Pope Francis had to say, and I wrote a piece indicating that I had no intention of supporting an organization that was moving in the direction he wanted to go. I was immediately accused of turning my back on God, Jesus, and my fellow Catholics.
That was never the case. There are great people in the church, there are excellent local parishes, and there are wonderful priests out there who disagree with the current Pope’s attitude but are unwilling to voice their concerns.
As I said at the time:
“I’m not interested in being part of a group which is trending both anti-capitalist and anti-West. I’m also not inclined to ally myself with Priests, Cardinals, and Bishops who are unwilling to speak their minds. This isn’t a rejection of faith, or of Jesus, or of God. I’m not turning my back on the Bible or its teachings. I’m simply acknowledging that, until it corrects its course, a socialist Pope sites atop an organization that’s heading down a path I can’t – and won’t – follow.”
I took a lot of flak over that piece, but I’ve been feeling pretty good about it ever since. The Pope has only become more extreme in his views, the Priests, Cardinals, and Bishops are still silent about internal disagreements over his rejection of traditional dogma, and Rome’s politics are still decidedly anti-West. In short, things have gotten worse, not better.