How Not to “Defend” the Pope

Readers of my blog will know that, though I agree with Rod about the greatness of JPII, I disagree with him about what the Pope is up to and think that he is attempting a risky medicine in keeping the bad bishops where they are to suffer the consequence of their manifold sins. I can, however, appreciate the anguish Rod feels as somebody who has had to deal on a more or less daily basis with the stories of victims, the lies of bishops, and the crimes of priests. We differ on what and whether the Pope is doing something about it. But, having gotten to know Rod over the past several months, I would tremble before God to suggest that he is motivated by love of money or contempt for the Church or the Holy Father.

Stephen Hand does not tremble. For Hand, Rod Dreher can’t, of course, be an honorable Catholic with whom one has a legitimate disagreement about a prudential decision. No. He must demonized as a man lusting for power and eager to crucify the Holy Father. He has to be characterized as a false son of the Church more in love with money and power than with the good of souls and the ruined lives of children and their families.

Yes. I’m so sure the Holy Father would appreciate this sort of defense. With friends like Hand, the Holy Father doesn’t need enemies.