Pope Francis does not, as the Catholic-bashing media likes to claim repetitively, “inherit a Church that is in disarray.” He does not, as they also like to say, “inherit a Church that people are abandoning.”
What he does inherit is a Church that is being subjected to historic levels of persecution all around the world. He inherits a Church that is the object of media vilification (of which these claims are a part) almost universal persecution that ranges from social hazing in the West to martyrdom of huge numbers of people in other parts of the world.
I’ve said a number of times that persecution is on a continuum. It never starts out with beheadings, Sunday worshippers burnt alive and mass migrations of displaced persons. It begins with verbal insults, moves on to a culture of verbal hazing and hate speech from the media fed by a militant, organized and ruthless group of propagandists. This leads to legal and economic discrimination. Only after enough slander, hate speech and propaganda have circulated to poison the public mind and a legal structure to allow it are in place, can a society move to overt physical brutality toward a group of people.
Take a look at the simple chart below and determine where you think your nation is on it. I think America today is in the process of moving from level one (which has become ubiquitous in our society) to level two. Other parts of the world are already deep int0 level three.
What do you think?