During the month of September, America magazine published an interview that it conducted with Pope Francis.

Pope Francis is a reformer; he is not a revolutionary. The distinction is important. His style and tone are different, but he shares with John Paul II and Benedict XVI the same doctrinal positions, and the same vision, of the Catholic Church.

Some conservatives are in mourning. They shouldn’t be. Some liberals are popping the cork. They shouldn’t be. Knee-jerk reactions are typically a function of ignorance, and that’s what we are witnessing. It would be so refreshing if people actually read what the pope said.

Already, there are some on the left who seized the moment to stifle the speech of loyal sons and daughters of the Church. Chris Cuomo tried that when he interviewed Bill Donohue, but it didn’t work.

Left-wing spin doctors, like those at GLAAD, said the pope “has recognized the harm that the Roman Catholic hierarchy’s campaigns against LGBT people and families have caused.” But no bishop has ever condemned gays for being gay. GLAAD is playing games: it wants to say that anyone who supports marriage, properly understood, is a bigot. Only ideologues believe such nonsense.

In September, the pope said “a good Catholic meddles in politics.” Later on he condemned abortion as representative of our “throwaway culture.” Both of these remarks were ignored by the media. Instead, they cherry picked his comments. This isn’t journalism—it’s politics.

Look for the authoritarian left to lecture the rest of us about fidelity to their interpretation of what the pope believes. They should instead practice fidelity to the teachings that the Holy Father upholds.

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