How Do You Judge A Papacy?
The Creative Minority Report asks how we judge a Papacy.
My answer is very simple: by the ability of the Pope to defend the deposit of faith and the entirety of Catholic teaching – even if not directly linked to the deposit of faith – and transmit it intact to his successor.
These are, to me, criteria that comes before everything else; which is why in my eyes Alexander VI was – with all his shortcomings – a vastly, vastly better Pope than our present ringmaster and bad-entertainer-in-chief.
The other criteria that are proposed or suggested are, if you ask me, merely effects of a good papacy, or symptoms of a bad one. Number and quality of vocations, mass attendance numbers etc. will all tend to reflect the way the Church – starting from the Pope – is run. As the fish stinks from the head down, a good Pope will in time cause massive ripple effects throughout Christendom, and a bad Pope likewise.
In short: the truth about a Pope is seen at the way a Pope deals with the Truth.
Which is why Francis is such a disgrace.