The secret Pope Francis haters

But it’s not just traditionalists who arefinding fault with Francis. Writing in the New Statesman John Bloodworth, editor of the popular British progressive political blog Left Foot Forward, warns that Francis is no different from his predecessors and that the Catholic Church “stands on roughly the same political terrain as it did under the leadership of Pope Benedict.” He says part of Francis’s popularity is simply a result of “clever repackaging” of the same Catholic propaganda coupled with a troubled society’s search for a new hero, which, he says, “has resulted in people switching off their critical faculties and overlooking inconvenient truths.” Bloodworth blames the mainstream press for essentially drinking the Catholic kool-aid without really checking for substance. “Pope Francis’s position on most issues should make the hair of every liberal curl,” he says. “Instead we get article after article of saccharine from people who really should know better.”

Some liberal Catholics believe that Francis is missing an opportunity to use his popular appeal to really make a substantive difference. Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, says that part of Francis’s appeal was his predecessor’s weakness. “To go from such an uncharismatic Pope to such a natural and warm leader like Francis has made people interested in what he has to say,” O’Brien told The Daily Beast. “But he’s not exactly CheGuevera for the church.”