“This too shall pass.” As Lincoln noted, that phrase is a comforting thought during periods of trial and tribulation. How will the current pontificate be recalled in the history of the Church?
Ross Douthat, author of a book just released critical of the Francis Papacy, has an idea in an interview in The National Catholic Register:
Do you think it more likely that Pope Francis will be remembered as a “heroic revolutionary” or as an “ambitious pope who overreached”?
The latter, I’m afraid. But what I’m sure of is that he’s put himself in a position where those are increasingly the only two plausible legacies. The Church will either have to tacitly repudiate his innovations in order to restore consistency and continuity, or else follow them further to where they seem to lead, in which case his impact will be genuinely revolutionary. At this point, it’s hard to see a middle ground (unless he changes course dramatically); I may be wrong about the wisdom of his vision, but I’m sure I’m right that the Catholics of the future will remember this pontificate as an exceptionally significant one, for good or ill.
Go here to read the rest. PopeWatch thinks that the Francis papacy will be either viewed as a big disaster or a little disaster. If a little disaster is the consensus it will be because his pontificate is followed by a swift reversal. A big disaster will be if Francis is followed by think-a-like successors who take the Church down the pathway carved out by many mainline Protestant churches that substitute transient current Leftism for Christianity. Such churches radically shrink in numbers and swiftly become irrelevant. Ultimately the hard core of Orthodox Catholics would regain control a century or so hence and begin the mission of the Church anew, and Francis would be regarded as a second Judas.