PopeWatch: Francis in Hindsight




“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.

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  1. In this Easter season we keep hearing readings from Acts where it is clear the Apostles, particularly Peter, say and do things that PF would condemn as proselytizing. I can only imagine the insults PF would have hurled at those men who were on fire with the Good News. So, I don’t need to wait for history’s response to this papacy. By their fruit…

  2. Ross Douthat, the sanctimonious “never-Trumper” who can masquerade as a conservative only because he is surrounded by radical leftists everywhere he works, again demonstrates his inability to cut through the Bravo Sierra. While unafraid to hurl invectives from his self-anointed seat of purity at Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Fox News, and anyone who has the temerity to support Donald Trump, he can’t quite muster the guts to call this papacy what it is, an unmitigated disaster that must be explicitly, not tacitly, repudiated in its every detail. I give him credit for at least being willing to criticize Francis, but he falls victim to the error of papolatry in the end, as do most “conservative” Catholics. His brand of conservatism, whether political or ecclesiastical, is nothing but polite dhimmitude to our masters on the Left.

  3. Can’t Help Myself: In a movie version of Conrad’s Lord Jim, Gentleman Duncan Brown, (James Mason) wants to steal a precious gem. Another low life swallows it, thinking Brown will never get it. Brown says words to this effect; “Like all things big and small, this will pass.” Praise The Lord! This too will pass. We all know that at some point Jorge B will be before the Lord, the One Jorge chastised for not being merciful enough, as merciful as Jorge. I will be judged for my many sins and transgressions. I who dare to ask Jesus’s Mom to pray for me, even though I am part of the reason her Son suffered, fell under the Cross I helped fashioned, and died. I will be judged and will hear His voice. I wonder if when Jorge B hears His voice there will be thunder. And lightning bolts. Guy McClung, Texas

  4. The young Douthat had an annoying tic of almost seeming to apologize for what he was advocating (it being a minority viewpoint in bull sessions at Harvard). He seemed over the years to shed that, but now a certain vapidity seems to have entered his writing as he heads into middle age.

    He really ought to understand that there is no ‘revolutionary’ process in the Catholic Church as it has understood itself to be for 20 centuries. Any body in which such a process could take place is not the Catholic Church, and the proper response to such a process is to decamp to Orthodoxy or start reading Marcus Aurelius.

    As for ‘disasters’, when the number of women taking their final vows declines by 97% and the number of men by 90%, you’re living through a disaster. When a survey of the personnel files of your body shows a frequency of manifest sexual deviance similar to the general population, you’ve been living through a disaster, as you are when it’s revealed that your bishops are as limited in their ability and moral sense as any randomly selected crew of NGO functionaries. Frankenchurch is a disaster atop a disaster atop a disaster.

  5. What Art said.
    Douthat is still reading the current manifestation of the crisis through a “conservative Catholic” lens, limited to the post-conciliar era and the hero-worship of JPII and Benedict.

    But the current pontiff isn’t a deviation–he’s the logical outgrowth of a crisis that began in the 19th Century and continues to this day. Vatican II gave it a huge shot of steroids and ambiguous texts to exploit, but this is something that has been building over the course of many, many decades. The difference is that the crisis has now fully captured the papal chair.

  6. What will future generation think of pope Francis? This whole age, with all its leaders, intellects etc will be held in such disdain as has never been known yet. There will be no mercy, and the great saints of the day will express nothing but disgust for our age, our hierarchy, our leaders, our intellects, our institutions…etc and it will all be well deserved.

    Alexander vi may have been scandalous, but he would be horrified by the state of the world today and the church’s capitulation. And his words are not featured in gay pride festivals and PP centers.

  7. ““This too shall pass.” …. How will the current pontificate be recalled in the history of the Church?” and “What will future generation think of pope Francis?”

    Hopefully there are future generations. The populations numbers are dropping rapidly all across the globe. In the future, 50 to 100 years at this rate, there may be so few left to consider him at all as they struggle with a dying civilization.

    There is also the possibility of the end and everything passes away and the return of Christ.

  8. pat on: In future folks may not know his name, but they will know the heresy called “bergoglianism” and it will be spelled with a lower case “b”. Guy McClung, Texas

  9. Benedict’s resignation was a colossal mistake, from which the Church may never recover.The lost fanatical clergy men who created the Vatican Mafia to install Bergoglio will never relinquish their control over the Church. Like all fanatics Bergoglio and his followers seek the destruction of the Church, which will be replaced by an unrecognizable leftist, globalist, modernist political institution. To Bergoglio the state is God’s equal.

  10. Any time I read anything about this Latin American heretic, or see the false facade of cordiality and congeniality on that disgusting face of his, my blood boils. God, please depose that man from the throne of St. Peter. Please save your people from his heresy and restore your Church to purity of doctrine and practice. Please purge liberalism and progressivism from the sacred halls of worship, and make your Church again shine with holiness and righteousness. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, Amen!

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