Gillea Allison is a rarity, someone who has rejoined the Catholic Church due to Pope Francis. She writes at Vox about her politics and her path back to Catholicism of a sort:
For me, finding truth elsewhere meant finding a different kind of home in politics and in the candidacy of Barack Obama. In 2006, one of my best (Jesuit-educated) friends sent me a copy of Dreams From My Father, then-Sen. Obama’s memoir. I couldn’t put it down. His honesty, prose, and self-reflection were unlike any I had seen in a politician; his years spent on the South Side of Chicago in organizing in Catholic churches caught my attention. His compassion for others and understanding of injustice — drawn from personal experience — guided his interest in politics and felt to me like the real deal (and, I would argue, it still does). I started paying attention to Obama’s candidacy from abroad, and in September 2008 I moved back to the United States to volunteer for him in Colorado without a dime. A version of faith, one could say.
In the 2008 and the 2012 campaigns, I found an organization dedicated to empowering its people and providing an opening to the political process. In candidate and now President Obama, I found a leader who embodied what I had loved about the church and my Jesuit education: the notion that by loving our neighbor, seeing our similarities instead of our relatively smaller differences, and coming together, we will in fact change the world. We didn’t have to accept things the way they were; rather, it was our responsibility to question and make those things better. The Obama campaigns felt to me like the truest articulation of people over politics, of love over power — and after my falling out with the Catholic Church, they restored my faith in leadership and the potential for institutions to evolve.
I keep it pretty practical, but there’s certainly been a reigniting of my spirit. I volunteer at Xavier’s soup kitchen, which feeds hundreds each Sunday. I am a godmother to my best friend’s son — a responsibility that now carries new weight and meaning. I go to church whenever I can. It’s beautiful, and I’m often struck by the priests’ wisdom and humor.
By and large, however, it is the community that fills my heart. A few Sundays ago, we celebrated a dedicated parishioner’s 90th birthday. The priest presented her with a lovely bouquet; the entire congregation sang “Happy Birthday.” You could feel the love — it’s that simple.
But this reawakening comes with distinct challenges. As a monthly donor to Planned Parenthood, I am often at odds with persistent church policies on social issues. But we must avoid the American tendency to pull the church into our political battles and project our political dynamics onto figures like Pope Francis, the absurdity of which was abundant during his US visit. (An example: when the New York Times recapped his speech to Congress on A1 by stating, “Both sides could walk away taking vindication from parts of his message. But the liberal references in his speech were explicit and extended while the conservative ones were more veiled and concise.”).
Go here to read the rest. It would be mistaken I think to assume that the author has rejoined Catholicism simply because Pope Francis is a leftist. That is part of it of course, but like many people she is looking for a leader she can raise on high in her mind and heart. First Obama and now Pope Francis has assumed that role. Pope Francis would doubtless look upon her as a success story: get them back in Church and then change their hearts by barely stating the things that they vehemently disagree with in regard to the Church. There are many problems with this type of low content evangelicalism but the foremost is that it differs radically from how Christ built His Church. He did not shun hard sayings. Telling His followers that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood repelled many of them. His Apostles were appalled by His teaching on marriage. His proclamation that he was the great I AM, God, seemed like the ultimate blasphemy to many who heard Him.
We often hear that Christ sought out the blackest of sinners: prostitutes, tax collectors, collaborators with Rome, etc., and that is certainly true. What we usually do not hear is that these same sinners received the full force of his preaching as did all of his listeners. Christ taught with authority and did not mince His words. He did not pander to His audiences but preached to them the pure and unvarnished Truth. The approach favored by Pope Francis attempts to remove, or at least hide, the hard sayings and attract people to a Christ who loves them as they are, with mercy as His sole command. To be blunt, this is completely contrary to what the Church has been teaching for 2000 years because it is contrary to how Christ taught. In his nonjudgmental stance Pope Francis may attract a few people back to the pews of the Church, but what good is that if their hearts are unconverted?
When the Church teaches as Christ taught, with authority and fearlessly, we never lack for converts. When we follow the path of Francis, and that of all too many of the clergy over the past half century, we make no true converts and send many faithful Catholics into spiritual exile, hungry for the gospel of Truth. I wish Gillea Allison well, and I hope that she may embrace the Church fully in all its splendor as the bride of Christ, but for the moment she is an example of flawed evangelicalism leading to flawed non-converts.
 For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed.  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him.  As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me.  This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.  These things he said, teaching in the synagogue, in Capharnaum.
 Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard, and who can hear it?  But Jesus, knowing in himself, that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you?  If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?  It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life.  But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that did not believe, and who he was, that would betray him.
 If then you shall see: Christ by mentioning his ascension, by this instance of his power and divinity, would confirm the truth of what he had before asserted; and at the same time correct their gross apprehension of eating his flesh, and drinking his blood, in a vulgar and carnal manner, by letting them know he should take his whole body living with him to heaven; and consequently not suffer it to be as they supposed, divided, mangled, and consumed upon earth.
 The flesh profiteth nothing: Dead flesh separated from the spirit, in the gross manner they supposed they were to eat his flesh, would profit nothing. Neither doth man’s flesh, that is to say, man’s natural and carnal apprehension, (which refuses to be subject to the spirit, and words of Christ,) profit any thing. But it would be the height of blasphemy, to say the living flesh of Christ (which we receive in the blessed sacrament, with his spirit, that is, with his soul and divinity) profiteth nothing. For if Christ’s flesh had profited us nothing, he would never have taken flesh for us, nor died in the flesh for us.
 Are spirit and life: By proposing to you a heavenly sacrament, in which you shall receive, in a wonderful manner, spirit, grace, and life, in its very fountain.
John 6: 56-67