No, I'm not talking about the historicity of the Scriptures, or the miraculous witness of the Saints, or even the age of martyrs and heroes of the Faith. I'm talking about that imaginary time when supporters of Pope Francis insist they and those with concerns about Pope Francis sat down and discussed these critiques with great love and open respect. Truth be told, I'll be damned if I can think of when there was such a time.
Almost out of the gate, Pope Francis shocked the non-progressive Faithful and delighted liberals around the world with his ill-timed 'who am I to judge' regarding homosexuality. At a time when the sexual revolution, of which acceptance of non-heterosexuality is merely one part, has led to the deaths of more victims than those of Stalin and Hitler combined, as well as at least as many lives ruined and shattered, not to mention abortion in America alone on a genocidal scale that has terminated the population equal to some 80% of the world's countries, there were valid reasons to criticize such a flippant response. That would be like saying, "Oh, that. Well, other than that I don't think German Jews in the 1940s had much to complain about!'
As soon as the first critics of his response stepped forward, however, they were blasted by supporters of the Latest Pope as homophobes and bigots, gay haters, pope haters, reactionaries and idiots. I remember that well, because I was shocked at Pope Francis's response and stunned at his defenders' immediate attack against anyone expressing concern. It's not gotten any better. In fact, the more his supporters have stepped up to defend Pope Francis no matter what, the worst the rhetoric has become. I mentioned the reaming of the once respected Taylor Marshall here.
Now, Scott Eric Alt has waded into the latest attempt to get Pope Francis to meet those with concerns halfway. Just read it. Nothing I could comment on would do justice to his post. I'm not a talented enough writer to find words that can compare to the scorn and contempt he employs.
You can tell a tree by the fruit it bears, or so Jesus said (assuming we don't need to change what the Bible says He said about that, too). If people must resort to such 'Screw you, I'll Raca and Fool the hell out of anyone who dares question the pope' as a first resort, then there's likely a problem. Fact is, we know that Pope Francis tacks to the Left, is a child of Marxist inspired Latin American Liberation Theology, and has no problem asking who he is to judge, followed by lobbing endless judgement at others, usually 'those Catholics over there' and having values opposed to the modern Left.
I feel that has given rise to a clique made up of those who support Pope Francis, believing in their minds that they must not be 'those Catholics over there' who are the problem. And when something challenges this, such as the idea that Pope Francis could be wrong about something*, they come out with all barrels blazing. Or that's just a guess on my part. Whatever the reason, it stinks, and tends to make me far more sympathetic to the critics of Pope Francis, essentially given Pope Francis's own reaction to his critics, than I might otherwise be.
*It is worth noting that some of his supporters have called him out once or twice, usually over the issue of the Abuse Scandal. Likewise, I remember Mark Shea breaking ranks with him when Mark supported the decision of two hospitals in England letting infants die against their parents' wishes. But on the whole, dissension is very rare, and most often attacked ruthlessly, as the link above demonstrates.