Someone brought a dog to mass at my parish this weekend. It lay smack in the middle of the main aisle, forcing parishioners to edge around it. No one said anything, but the symbolism was not lost on some in attendance: dogs may be going to church, but the universal Roman Catholic Church is going to the dogs.
Under Pope Francis, the church has abandoned many of its bedrock positions on issues like divorce and homosexuality in favor of a “why not?” attitude. Francis has scolded people for being rich, sided with illegal immigrants, and suggested the church should be a refuge for the poor.
He has sidelined conservative cardinals, installed like-minded allies in key jobs, taken personal control of the Knights of Malta for defying him, and generally sent the signal that behind his amiable smile and humble talk lurks a radically liberal agenda.
The latest example of the pope’s blueprint for the future is contained in an article penned by two of his closest confidantes. They believe that conservative Catholics in the United States have formed a coalition with Evangelical Protestants to push Donald Trump’s agenda, which the authors call a “Manichean vision.” The article, in the Jesuit publication La Civiltà Cattolica, could not have been printed without Francis’s knowledge and approval.