On Thursday, even as he continued his silence with regard to accusations that he helped cover up sexual abuse within the Catholic Church from top-ranking members of the Vatican hierarchy, Pope Francis took to Twitter to issue another of his cryptically new-agey nostrums: “We Christians are not selling a product. We are communicating a lifestyle.”
This tweet drew the ire and mockery of thousands of users, who pointed out first that the Pope’s language was vaguely reminiscent of a “Mad Men” advertising agency, and second that the Pope’s latest communiques hadn’t exactly communicated a valuable lifestyle. The Pope then deleted his tweet and replaced it with this, slightly less Hollywood version:
This isn’t much better, since the Pope’s latest commitment to communicating life involves avoiding charges that he reinstated public status to a cardinal credibly accused of preying on seminarians as well as male minors. But Francis’ declarations on Twitter have been cause for consternation for some time – he doesn’t use his 17.8 million-strong followership to promote Catholic doctrine, but to repeat phrases bound not to offend. So, for example, here were his tweets this week:
Now, if this were Pope Benedict XVI tweeting empty phraseology amidst accusations of covering up child molestation, there’s little doubt the media would be eating him alive. Instead, the media are covering for Francis, playing him as a victim of conservatives who simply wish to strike back at his liberation theology politics. Here’s Reuters today:
It’s telling that the Pope’s greatest defenders these days are media outlets that despise Biblical Christianity. All of which suggests that the media’s agenda here isn’t the defense of children or objective journalism, but advocacy on behalf of a Vatican hierarchy promoting political progressivism under the guise of the most powerful religious institution on the planet.