CRUX Flip-Flops on Popes Francis and Benedict
John Allen is the editor and driving force behind CRUX. About a week ago, he wrote an editorial, “Two boosts to the case for continuity between Benedict and Francis.” His lead paragraph:
In popular media narratives, it’s long been taken for granted that Pope Francis marks, if not a repudiation, certainly a dramatic break with his predecessor, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI. Yet this week, the argument for continuity between the two pontiffs drew unexpected boosts from two different quarters, one having to do with Vatican foreign policy and the other Catholic liturgy.
That is, Mr. Allen rejected the common wisdom that Pope Francis is much more liberal than Pope Benedict . At least in terms of liturgy and foreign policy, they are pretty similar.
But a few days later, he wrote a different editorial, this time on the popularity of the last three popes (here). Here he characterizes Popes John Paul, Benedict, and Francis “as, respectively, conservative, arch-conservative, and liberal.” His point was that popular approval has little to do with liberalism vs. conservatism. To make his point, Mr. Allen contrasted the liberal Francis with the ‘arch-conservative’ Benedict – contradicting his position of just a few days earlier.
I'll have more to say on this flop-flop and its implications.