Abuse Survivors Are Angry About the Pope’s Visit to Ireland


July 24, 2018

By Paulie Doyle

How Irish protesters plan to demonstrate against Pope Francis touching down in their country.

The general consensus about the Pope seems to be: he’s pretty woke. Francis doesn’t care for Trump, he auctioned his famous Harley Davidson to feed the poor and says that preventing environmental catastrophe is a moral imperative. He belongs to the fair-minded Jesuits, and has made some progressive-sounding comments about women and the LGBT community.

Although no changes to Catholic teaching regarding women or sexual minorities have been made, with the assistance of a very well-oiled PR machine, the Pontiff has nonetheless become a kind of media-darling, referenced as a benign moral authority, Dalai Llama-like, by ostensibly secular liberals. “On the issue of climate change, I agree with Pope Francis,” Senator Bernie Sanders would regularly say, during rallies throughout his presidential campaign.

From the moment we met him, the current Pope’s PR campaign has been in full swing: Francis stepped out into the world wearing humble white garments, a simple cross draped around his neck – the antithesis of the ostentatious papal regalia worn by Benedict XVI. The Church was sending a message: over are the days of opulence and intransigence at the Holy See; enter the era of Francis, and a new, more open Catholicism. In the past five years, this down-to-earth ethos has substantially improved Rome’s image.

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