Many of my Godless heathen friends have spoken about how much they love Pope Francis. Just now I saw one of them praise him in a Facebook update, specifically how the pope said atheists can be saved if they do good works. I presume she was referring to this old story. The patheos Pollyannas were quick to leap to the pope's defense, declaring no, he couldn't possibly have said anything like that. It was a translation error and he was only making the nuanced point that if non-Christians are invincibly ignorant and live according to the Natural Law as best they can discern through the lights of their own reason and conscience they can go to heaven. And besides, Pope Francis is a genius at evangelization, something all of you stupid, hateful, evil bigoted Reactionaries hate! You hate your neighbors, you hate Jews, you're schismatics, and you're not as humble, faithful, and eager to share the faith as us! Excuse me, I was channeling Mark Shea there for a minute.
Leaving aside that specific example of the pope's logorrhea, we've seen other examples of Godless heathens praising Francis to the skies such as Elton John and the Advocate magazine. Is this love for Francis motivating them to repent, confess or be baptized, become a formal member of the Catholic Church, and live lives of virtue and holiness? It's possible that it could happen. The example of St. John Paul II has demonstrably inspired conversions. Or is Pope Francis popular with the world because they believe, rightly or wrongly, that he's one of them? That he has to say certain things in public for the sake of us rubes who actually believe this stuff, but he does it with a wink and a nod toward our progressive overlords?
Francis does not inspire confidence. Whenever he appears in the headlines my first thought is always, "Oh God, what has he said this time?" I stand by my earlier assessment: he's a bog standard liberal Jesuit who has a fierce contempt for anything or anyone that smacks of pre-Vatican II Catholicism.