Pope Francis has captured the good will, indeed the love, of millions around the globe, and the response is hardly confined to Catholic circles. However, his critics are emerging, though none with any luck.
Sex is always a good subject for Catholic haters. Their goal—sex without consequences (kids and diseases)—is threatened when religious leaders counsel the virtue of restraint. Similarly, we have the lament of people like Mary Johnson, a former nun, who told the MSNBC audience how “marginalized” gay and lesbian Catholics are. Catholic-bashing lawyer Marci Hamilton chimed in, commenting about the “sex abuse scandal that has scandalized the church over the past decade.” Any high school fact checker knows better: the timeline of the homosexual scandal was the mid-60s to the mid-80s.
Washington Post opinion writer Eugene Robinson wants to know “what did the newly chosen Pope Francis do” about the right-wing dictatorship in Argentina’s “Dirty War”? We have an answer from Adolfo Perez Esquivel, the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize winner: he said the pope “was no accomplice of the dictatorship.” Indeed, he firmly concluded, “He can’t be accused of that.” Others have written books praising the pope for his yeoman efforts in undermining the junta. Miguel A. De La Torre, a professor at the School of Theology in Denver, condemned the pope for not changing “the social structure that creates poverty.” Guilty as charged. Nor did the pope cure insanity; if he did we would not be subjected to such crazy talk.
Sadly, more than a few evangelicals showed how insecure they were. Bethany Blankley was particularly incensed at Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and Fox News executive editor John Moody for saying God was at work in selecting the pope. Of course He was. Too bad she never learned of the Holy Spirit in Sunday School.