Professor Daniel J. Mahoney has a searing analysis of this pontificate at National Review Online:
For generations to come, the Catholic Church will bear the shame of its capitulation before a totalitarian regime in Beijing, a regime that demands loyalty to state power and Communist ideology before fidelity to the saving grace of Christ. An atheistic state now essentially controls all episcopal appointments in China. The sacrifices of the underground Church, whose adherents have remained faithful to Rome since 1949, are apparently of no major concern to Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Pope Francis. And one should not underestimate the ideological sympathies for Chinese tyranny that predominate in some circles around the Argentine pope. The same mistakes, but even worse, that drove the Vatican’s policy of barely concealed appeasement of Eastern European Communist regimes (the so-called Ostpolitik of the 1960s and 1970s) are being made again, with no evidence of lessons learned. As Bishop Schneider points out, the great Hungarian cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, who adamantly opposed the Vatican’s policies toward his country’s Communist regime and was summarily dismissed by Pope Paul VI, has now been declared worthy of veneration for his “heroic Christian virtues” in witnessing to the faith and in fighting Communist totalitarianism. Can no one in Rome connect the dots and see that history is repeating itself?
A preference for left-wing dictatorships is not simply evidence of change in a change-obsessed papacy but a sign of foul moral corruption, part Machiavellian and part ideological, in the upper echelons of the Church. This moment calls for fidelity to enduring moral and theological truths, faithful adherence to the magisterium understood as the full weight of Catholic wisdom, and a firm rejection of the historicized and politically correct substitution for the magisterium that is evident in some curial circles. And we must stand up fearlessly for our coreligionists who continue to suffer under Islamist and Communist violence and tyranny. Let us uphold true Catholicism and not a mawkish substitute that owes more to the religion of humanity than to the faith of the martyrs. Let us hope that Pope Francis comes to see the need to uphold authentic continuity in the Church — fidelity to her old wisdom — and not a frenzied chasing after change for change’s sake. This is a hope that is fully in accord with the filial respect that faithful Catholics owe the Holy Father.
Amen. Go here to read the somber rest.