"This is harsh, no doubt," he said, chewing on a cigar stub. (Since when did Noir take up cigar smoking?) "But I have to admit that Ann Coulter-like broadsides aside, it raises a point that deserves comment," he added, a gravelly growl in his voice.
"What point?" I asked, studiously, trying to steady him.
He took the article from my hands and read: "The Church is supposed to be about religion. It’s not salvation from hunger or poverty or illness or global warming that Christ died on the cross to effect. Can we please have a little religion, now and then."
He snorted, his face flushed with anger: "At what point in the process of making religion modern and reasonable and inoffensive do we decaffeinate it to the point of neutering it?"
"Well, you raise an important question," said I, cautiously.
"Arnold Lunn in Whithin That City has some terrific lines on this I will have to find... Meanwhile, prepare to be offended," he declared, handing me back the print-out of his article and rubbing out his cigar stub in a saucer lying on the kitchen table.
He sighed and cleared his throat, scanning the room. "Got any Scotch around here?" he asked.
Hilary White, "Petered Out" (Remnant, August 26, 2015):
In late July, the very secular paper, USA Today, reported: “Growing conservative disaffection with Pope Francis appears to be taking a toll on his once Teflon-grade popularity in the U.S., with a new Gallup poll showing the pontiff’s favorability rating among all Americans dropping to 59% from a 76% peak early last year. Among conservatives, the drop-off has been especially sharp: Just 45% view Francis favorably today, as opposed to 72% a year ago.”
Some of the pope’s most tireless Catholic “conservative” defenders – including some who have suggested he could just wave his magic pope-wand and allow the cohabiting and divorced to receive Communion – are finally wearying of the constant barrage of nagging. Elizabeth Scalia, the doyenne of Patheos’ neo-Catholic bloggers, wrote recently that she is growing weary of Pope Francis’ constant “scolding” on his pet topics of capitalism, the poor, the environment or the ill-defined “mercy”.
Ms. Scalia observed recently that of a group of Catholics on an internet forum discussing the pope’s environmental encyclical, “some were weary-negative of the encyclical; some were weary-positive. What struck me most was that they all seemed in some way weary.”
“Some of them wish Francis was clearer in his meaning; they’re tired of trying to ‘figure out’ his point, which often seems ambiguous. Others are tired of trying to defend and explain him.” Either way, she says, “I’m just tired of feeling scolded.”
Carl Olson, editor of Catholic World Report, noted Scalia’s backing away from Francis and also wrote in July that more Catholics on the “right” of the US Church were getting worn out by this “hyperbolic and exhausting” pontificate. Read more >>