Well after a year as Pope, it is clear that Pope Francis has excited two groups: the mainstream media and the Catholic Left. In a long article yesterday, CNN highlighted various denizens of the Catholic Left who cannot contain their joy over a Pope they are certain is one of them:
He wears a blue flannel shirt and work boots instead of priestly black. He’s 52 but looks 35 — the kind of guy you might see on one those TV reality shows about home remodeling.
A clerical collar is nowhere in sight. His cellphone buzzes like a drunk bumblebee.
Several years ago, Unni’s parish, St. Cecilia in Boston’s Back Bay, merged with a predominantly gay church nearby as part of the archdiocese’s plan to deal with a lack of funds and priests.
Unni made a point of welcoming gays and lesbians to St. Cecilia, even scheduling a special service during Gay Pride month.
Conservative Catholic bloggers went ballistic, accusing him of watering down church teachings.
“They crucified me!” Unni says.
It was a different time in the church, Unni says, when doctrinal conformity was the order of the day. People who stepped out of line could expect to get smacked down.
The Archdiocese of Boston forced him to cancel the LGBT service, but Unni preached about homosexuality anyway, telling the congregants he doesn’t know anything about the “gay agenda,” all he knows is Jesus’ agenda — a. k. a. the Gospel.
Unni’s been known to take that love-your-neighbor vibe to extremes.
Stories abound about him arriving late to dinner dates with parishioners because he was buying homeless men meals. He cut short a recent interview to dash into an immigration center.
A book sits on a table at Unni’s office in St. Cecilia, a redbrick church overshadowed by hotels and office buildings. It’s called “Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way he Leads.”
As he thumbs through it, Unni looks like a kid who’s got his hands on “Harry Potter.”
Unni quotes liberally from the pontiff’s speeches and sermons in his own homilies, mentioning the trickle-down criticism, for example, during a recent Mass.
A satirical cartoon in which Francis is criticized for making the same “crazy impractical mistakes” as Jesus greets visitors from a table in St. Cecilia’s vestibule.
“I almost feel vindicated in a way,” Unni says, “that someone, namely the Pope, has the same approach to the complexities of life and relationships and the church and the poor as I do.”
Go here to read the rest. Father Unni is a piece of work. In addition to being forced to cancel a Gay Pride Mass back in 2011, he managed to turn 14 million in the bank into a six million dollar deficit during “renovations” at his parish, and wrote anonymously attacking the new missal translation. Go here to read all about it. Leftists like Father Unni, who have labored unceasingly to turn the Catholic Church into a clone of the dying Episcopal Church, believe that in Pope Francis they have the leader to allow them to transform the Catholic Church into a mere megaphone for the liberal zeitgeist. They have had a good year. We shall see if the next year gives them cause for joy, and cause for orthodox Catholics to mourn.