The Pope Francis Threat, by Rod Dreher

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From left to right, unknown person, Archbishop Sorondo, Pope Francis, Ban Ki-Moon, Jeffrey Sachs

By Rod Dreher, a Senior Editor, The American Conservative, Feb. 7, 2020

In Rome this past week, I had lots of conversations with informed Catholics. It’s fair to say my interlocutors were all on the orthodox (that is, theologically conservative) side of things, and that most of them were Italian. Every single one was deeply concerned — I mean profoundly concerned — about the present and future of the Catholic Church. I’d say the gamut ran from apocalyptic to “this is going to be like the Arian crisis — grave and long-lasting — so we had better prepare for a fight that lasts generations.” Nobody I talked to saw this as anything other than a crisis that strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Catholic. For what that’s worth.

One thing that’s on the lips of insiders: that in the next few weeks, the Vatican will finally release the findings of its investigation of Cardinal McCarrick —  but whatever they say, nobody will believe it, even if it’s the gospel truth, because the institutional Church has shot its credibility on sex abuse.

I read on the flight back yesterday the Catholic scholar Daniel Mahoney’s cover story in the new edition of National Review. It is such an eloquent and thorough summation of these conversations that I thought I would rather quote it at length than try to dredge up the details from my talks. I offer these excerpts to you as an exceptionally precise insight into what smart Catholic conservatives in Rome and from around Europe are thinking:  ….

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