Losing The Battle
Observing the press around Francis' movements and speeches one common theme is apparent: Francis is seen as someone who wants to make the Church different from what she is. There is Francis here, and the Church there, and the two are undoubtedly different. Even those who have an interest in supporting Francis in order to sabotage the Church are forced to do so by stressing how different he is; and, by reflex, how he is sabotaging the Church.
This is a self-defeating narrative. Once it is clear that Francis is different, it must follow for every Catholic that he is wrong, as even my cat understands that the differences here are substantial and not merely cosmetic.
Francis was not able to attack Catholicism on the sly, like a smarter man than he would have done. His lack of basic prudence and sufficient intelligent – coupled with a great theological ignorance, making him unable to detect his huge blunders before they are tweeted worldwide – make this attack obvious, and impossible to be explained away with any sort of Catholic continuity. But at this point, he has lost already. Who will believe him? Those who have an interest in following him even knowing he is wrong. But this is no surprise, and no news. If the Pope declared his allegiance to Satan he would become the darling of Satanists. It is, therefore, no surprise that he should be popular among perverts, communists, enviro-nuts and public, unrepentant adulterers.
This may be all good for a headline or three. Only it isn't Catholicism, and everyone understands it. It is clear by now that no matter how many headlines are written about Francis, they are always about the difference from, not the adherence to, Cathoicism.
This is why Francis has lost the battle. He will always have the wrong crowd on his side, but he will never have the Catholics! They will be, they already are horrified from him! These Catholics may well be a minority, but they will always be those who get to define what Catholicism is even for all the others, exactly in the same way every outsider knows the orthodox Jew is the “real” Jew, and the “progressive” Jew is merely a secular chap using religion as a social tool.
You can't demand that two and two be five and present yourself as a Math teacher. You can't demand that alcohol be freely available to everyone and candidate as head of the League of Temperance. You can't demand that communion be available to adulterers and present yourself as a true Catholic.
Francis has lost the battle. He could not get Catholics on his side, and they will be his doom in life and after death. He is now irredeemably branded – and rightly so – as a subversive and enemy of the Church. He may rape the Church, but he will never win her.
He will always be remembered as the rapist, not the protector. He may carry with him the abortionists, the perverts, the nutcases of all sorts. But the battle for Catholic hearts and minds, that is now lost forever.