In order from least to most probable:
- He’s actually been transported here from a mirror universe where Mr. Spock has a goatee and the Catholic Church does nothing but preach about sex.
- He’s plotting to replace Catholicism with a heretical modernist religion–the conclusion of Laura Wood, Mundabor, and Louie Verrecchio. This requires explaining away Francis’ orthodox statements as attempts to deceive the orthodox and keep us from rebellion. I doubt, however, that there are enough of us for it to be worth the facade.
- He knows voices in America and Europe are agitating for an attack on the Vatican. (This is, after all, where “sue the Vatican” and “arrest the Pope” require.) That–given what goes on in America’s prisons, schools, and barracks–it is grotesque for America to seize another sovereign head of state over the alleged failure of his organization to defend its charges from sexual predation will not occur to anyone, given the fantasy world constructed by the Leftist propaganda machine. Francis knows that few Catholics could endure the scandal of a pope arrested, subjected to an American show trial, and then incarcerated and sodomized like a common criminal. He must convince the Cathedral that he is their man, and then America will not want to compromise his position.
- He’s planning some enormous conservative bombshell, like a mass excommunication of all LCWR-affiliated nuns, and he wants the media to be thrown off when he does it. I would love for this to be true, of course, but the misdirection itself won’t accomplish anything. The media has no trouble converting someone from hero to villain in a moment’s notice.
- He’s stupid, lazy, or otherwise incompetent, and he doesn’t realize what he’s doing. However, he would have to be very stupid indeed not to have gone through the obvious ass-covering maneuvers after his interviews–sending spokesmen to make “clarifications”, etc.
- He’s vain and irresponsible, and cares more about being popular than about defending the faith. Even if this is true, very few people have such deadened consciences that they can simply admit to themselves that this is what they’re doing. Even if one were to say that Francis is vain and stupid, it still matters for understanding him what he believes. If he is a conscious heretic, as in position 2, then the fact that he enjoys the public favor such beliefs win him is not very important. If he is orthodox, then it is unlikely that he will bring himself to betray the faith without some sort of rationalization, whatever his ultimate psychological motives. The rationalization chosen will regulate what he will and won’t do.
- He buys into the “win people for Christ by visible meekness” meme being pushed throughout the Church since the Council, including the previous pope. On this understanding, people become Catholic not because they are convinced of the truth of Catholic doctrine, but because they are impressed by the character traits of Catholics. Francis may thus in all sincerity consider that he has a mandate from God to pursue popularity before all else. It is the logical conclusion of what everyone has been saying for the last half century. To impress people, show how much you care about the poor and how tolerant and open-minded you are. And, of course, the easiest way to do this in the eyes of the world is to badmouth faithful Catholics. So this is obviously what God wants him to do!
Once I thought of #7, a lot of things fell into place. Even the pope’s name. How is Francis of Assisi remembered by the post-conciliar Church? He’s the guy who (it is falsely claimed) said “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words”, which means (it is falsely inferred) that when trying to convert people to the faith we should never actually mention the faith, but we should advertise ourselves instead. (This attributed to the guy who founded the Church’s largest preaching order!)
I hope I am right that #7 is what is going on. In that case, we can expect more of what we’ve been seeing, but nothing worse.
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