The tone of press coverage of Pope Francis is changing

Last week was another rough week for Pope Francis. In fact, it’s been an increasingly rough series of weeks. A good bit of the bad press could have been predicted. His series of morning fervorini from the Domus Sanctae Marthae that began on September 10 and ran through two full weeks – in which he made oblique but clear and repeated reference to the Viganò affair, comparing the bishops to Christ and those calling for accountability to the mob that cried for Christ’s innocent blood – did little to calm the crisis.

Both reporters and the faithful have grown impatient with this response, and some have begun to wonder whether the Vatican even has a coherent response to the crisis in which the whole Church is currently embroiled. This is unsurprising, since Francis has still not made an explicit and reasonably full disclosure of his mind with regard to the crisis.

The controversy even affected what was otherwise an eminently reasonable request he made this past weekend: that the faithful pray the rosary daily during October, a month especially dedicated to Our Lady. He also asked Catholics to recite the Sub tuum praesidium and the Prayer to St Michael, “thus to join in communion and in penitence as the people of God”, according to the communiqué from the Holy See press office, “in asking the Holy Mother of God and St Michael Archangel to protect the Church from the Devil, who always seeks to separate us from God and from each other.”

The statement continued: “The prayer – the Pontiff affirmed a few days ago, on September 11, in a homily at Santa Marta, citing the first chapter of the Book of Job – is the weapon against the Great Accuser who ‘goes around the world seeking to accuse’. Only prayer can defeat him.”

Any faithful Catholic will tell you that the Pope is not wrong.

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