I have to tell you, when I entered the liberal seminary I attended from 1976 through 1979, I was shocked that liberal seminarians were so critical of Pope Paul VI because of his "intransigence" on women priests and married clergy. You can only imagine how Pope St. John Paul II was criticized by this same liberal cabal.
I was also very angry at liberals for their denigration of Pope Benedict XVI especially on liturgical left-leaning blogs like Praytell.
But since Pope Francis was elected, in fact since the very first night, so-called traditional, orthodox Catholics and Catholic blogs haven't stopped with the criticism of the current Holy Father. It seems with the shoe on the other foot, these traditional Catholics have taken to what liberal Catholics have always done but with even more gusto in terms of papal critiques and even the ugliness associated with it.
But on either side of the paradigms, is it unhealthy? Yes and no. If we are speaking about orthodoxy, unity, and fidelity to God, and someone in the Church is creating havoc, disunity and infidelity, it is good to raise one's voice and name the sin(s).
Think about orthodox Catholics who refused to criticize priests and bishops even when they were doing stupid things. In the past we would have cut too much slack to those who took too much interest in our children, abused them, the liturgy and us. Not any more. This is good.
But when the right or the left become like gestapo, and live lives of criticism of those in the Church and create guilt by association of every priest and bishop in the Church, then, Rome, we have a problem.
But with that stated, what do you think of this article which has just appeared in First Things?
I print the title which you can press for the full article, but I include a soundbite below the title as a
The current regime in Rome will damage the Catholic Church. Pope Francis combines laxity and ruthlessness. His style is casual and approachable; his church politics are cold and cunning. There are leading themes in this pontificate—mercy, accompaniment, peripheries, and so forth—but no theological framework. He is a verbal semi-automatic weapon, squeezing off rounds of barbed remarks, spiritual aperçus, and earthy asides (coprophagia!). This has created a confusing, even dysfunctional atmosphere that will become intolerable, if it hasn’t already.