[Disclaimer: Rules 7-9]
Faithful Catholics are rightly uncomfortable with attacks on any pope, even if popes can make some pretty imprudent if not stupid decisions.
Michael Voris is an example of one who is unwilling to criticize Pope Francis, even though he has no problem criticizing many bishops who appear in one way or other to have betrayed the Faith or to have been negligent in their duties.
In today's "Vortex," Voris's daily 5-10 minute reflection, discussion, or fusillade aimed at trapping and exposing the latest falsehoods and lies about what concerns Holy Mother Church, he appears to have turned a corner. By way of reacting against the pervasive criticism of Pope Francis for mismanaging the Synod, Voris overtly shifts the blame away from Francis and back to Benedict XVI for having appointed so many of the cardinals and bishops who have turned out to be major disappointments and even saboteurs of the Faith in the present crisis. He also blames Benedict for resigning and abandoning the Church amidst the present confusion, effectively leaving a vacuum in theological leadership. Ironically, perhaps, in bending over backwards to avoid attacking Pope Francis, Voris attacks former Pope Benedict.
(And the attack on Benedict, be forewarned, is pointed and unrelenting -- See his "Vortex - Benedict's Fingerprints" [video with transcript] for the details.)
As painful as this attack on Benedict may be, especially for some among the more conservative Catholics and even some traditionalists, Voris is right about one thing: the roots of the present crisis are not to be found in the pontificate of Pope Francis and his two Synods on the Family, any more than these roots are ultimately to be found in Pope John XXIII and Paul VI and their Second Vatican Council, even if the latter was more seminal and decisive influence.
In that respect, Benedict cannot be justly cited as more than a very indirect instrumental cause (like John Paul II) in having made some unfortunate appointments as well as perhaps imprudent decisions during their pontificates. We are not privy to the personal rationales behind these appointments or decisions, or even to the full reasons or causes behind Benedict's resignation, as unfortunate as that has been. The more substantial and distant causes of the present crisis must be traced back through the aftermath of Vatican II, and through the Council itself to anterior causes in modernist movements of thought simmering beneath the surface of pre-conciliar pontificates. The long trajectory back to the ultimate roots of the present crisis lie far back, as a number of good studies on the rise of Modernism and Neo-Modernism attest (see for example, the book by H.J.A. Sire mentioned in my previous post).
For an example of traditionalists who have no hesitation whatsoever about laying the blame for this Synod at the feet of Francis, or for that matter tracing it back through Vatican II to even earlier movements, see this video interview of John Rao by Michael Matt, in what they self-identify as a prolonged "rant," with the over-the-top title of "Synod Send Off: It's the End of the Church as We Know It."
(Advisory: it will offend, but watch and learn. There are things you can pick up from these guys, precisely because of their hyper-sensitivity to the merest whiff of historical revisionism, that you won't find from the "Everything-is-Awesome-Because-The-Gates-Of-Hell-Will-Not-Prevail" crowd. The promises of Christ are not in question; but the recent performances by some of the princes of the Church are very much in question. The promises of Christ are no excuse either for blissful ignorance of what is happening today or for willful ignorance of the realities before us. We -- you and I -- are the generation now responsible for transmitting the Faith to our children, to our families, to our friends, and through our parishes so that it will not die. We are responsible, not just our priests and bishops and popes.)