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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, May 16, 2022

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org.

My old friend Jean-Marie Guénois, the religion editor of Le Figaro, published an typically insightful appraisal of this pontificate last week, with the headline: “Challenged, deaf to criticism: the solitary ‘end of the regime’ for Pope Francis.” The Rorate Caeli site has a fine translation, but if you read French I strongly recommend the original, to capture the subtleties of Jean-Marie’s thoughts (not to mention the elegance of his prose style).

Among the noteworthy observations:

  • “Visions of the Church are opposed to each other and openly fight each other under this pontificate,” Guénois remarks. That in itself is not news; we all know that this is a controversial pontificate. But pause for a moment, and reflect on the fact that factions are openly fighting now, whereas in the past there has always been at least a polite façade of consensus. It is remarkable that the Pope’s critics no longer hesitate to say that he is undermining the faith, and still more remarkable that he returns fire, repeatedly blasting those critics in his public speeches. …

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