Pope Crush Blues: Liberals swoon, pundits pontificate, and the media marvels as Pope Francis puts a happy face on the morally bankrupt institution that is the Catholic Church.
The current celebration of Pope Francis in America has been a depressing exercise in media spin. Focusing on the persona of the pope, the ugly truth that is the Catholic Church is whitewashed and sanitized so as to not interrupt the “feel good” moment.
Pope Francis is a marvelous showman – a genius at public relations and media manipulation who has successfully hustled the media, and the public at large. He says nice things like all animals go to heaven; he chastises creationists and other science deniers by noting that God is not a magician; and in a good natured gesture he asks atheists for good vibrations.
Recently Francis has seduced many progressives and liberals with calls to action on climate change, immigration, and poverty. In so doing he has alienated many conservatives, who find themselves in the odd position of rejecting the pope’s progressive politics.
In short, Francis is immensely likeable, indeed he is lovable, and he is loved by many. He pulls on the heartstrings of those who want to believe…
Yet despite the friendly facade, the occasional superficial liberal rhetoric, and a humorous joke now and then, Pope Francis is guilty of perpetuating the institutional immorality of the Catholic Church.
As Dan Arel, writing at Danthropology, notes:
Stop calling Pope Francis progressive, he is still a pedophile protecting, conservative bigot
Arel is blunt, but he is right. While Francis may be correct on climate change, immigration, and the evils of unbridled capitalism, on everything else he is wrong.
Pope Francis is an extreme and unsavory social conservative. Writing for The Humanist, Matt Cerami observes:
this is a man who rejects gay marriage in fear of its potential to destroy the “traditional” family; a man who passionately supports, on theological grounds, and much like his predecessors, an international prohibition on birth control, even in poor and AIDS-ravaged countries; a man who has compared transgender people to nuclear weapons in their ability to wreak havoc on the “natural order of creation”; and a man who, in response to the Charlie Hebdo attack, victim-blamed the dead writers with the suggestion that free speech must end where criticism of religion begins.
In addition to being anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-birth control, anti-woman, and anti-free speech, Pope Francis continues to protect and enable pedophile priests while presiding over a Catholic Church still fighting to keep accused sex abusers from going to trial.
Pope Francis is a man who holds views that should be repugnant to all reasonable people. Yet many reasonable people, including progressives, refuse to acknowledge these hard truths about Francis. The denial, and the excuse making, is depressing.
Bottom line: Pope Francis may be likable, even lovable, but that is no excuse to celebrate the leader of a repulsive and morally bankrupt institution like the Catholic Church.