As everyone knows, Church Militant TV does not criticize the Pope, and doesn't like it when other people do. In today's Vortex, Michael Voris says criticizing the Pope is not going to make him change, but bishops, now they're a different kettle of fish (this being Friday)!
As a kicker, he says that criticism of the Pope is chasing some confused Catholics into the arms of irregular groups (presumably the SSPX or Pope Billy Bob I in at the I-57 diner in Kankakee).
Watch the episode for yourself and make up your own mind. The Bear is fair. But three points.
First, the Bear does not expect the Pope to be checking out Pewsitter one morning, click on a link to St. Corbinian's Bear, and suddenly realize the error of his ways. No, while the trajectory of Pope Francis' papacy is wobbly, the launch is a done deal and the direction is clear.
At this point, bloggers like the Bear are pretty much shouting "Oh the humanity," into the microphone as a papacy goes down in flames. We know we can't put the Hindenburg back into the sky over Lakehurst. What we can do is chronicle the "total disaster," as the Bear's friend thetimman from St. Louis Catholic called it, and warn people to get out of the way.
Second, the Bear is not even a traditionalist. Hardly a day goes by that he doesn't beg readers to nail their foot to the floor in front of their favorite pew and die there. The Bear counsels a stubborn piety of the hardy weed that grows through the cracks in the Franciscan Church. Far from driving people away, the Bear hopes every outrage makes his readers that much more stubborn.
Finally, who has heaped more criticism on the heads of the bishops than -- you guessed it -- Michael Voris? He, above all people, should know how ineffective criticism of bishops is.
We have a Pope who calls a housewife living in an irregular relationship, and reaches out to TV preachers and critical journalists. While the Bear wouldn't advise holding your breath in either case, between bishops insulated from reality in their chanceries, and a lovable joker-up-both-sleeves pontiff known for surprises, it is by no means certain who is more likely to respond.