PopeFrancisRomanusJesuit2 Details are still coming out about the arrest of four men who were allegedly plotting to attack Pope Francis, but the initial reports are harrowing enough: “Acting on a tip from the FBI, Italian authorities arrested four people in Italy and Kosovo Tuesday who were suspected of planning an attack on Pope Francis. . . .The [alleged] terrorist team propagated the ideology of jihad through social networks, the police said. The group allegedly claimed on social media that Francis would be ‘the last pope.’ The Kosovo threat was not the first time militants pledging allegiance to ISIS have threatened Francis. During his visit to the United States in September, a teenager claiming allegiance to ISIS was arrested on suspicion of planning to attack the Pope during his visit. . . .Police found multiple firearms in possession of the fifteen-year-old when they raided his house.” […] And the extreme criticism is not limited to hard-core traditionalists. Francis has come under fire from disillusioned progressives, who are now depicting him as a recalcitrant pontiff who won’t endorse condoms or “gay rights” (as the world defines them), much to their dismay. Even some mainstream “conservative” Catholics have spoken and written of Francis as if he were a danger to the Church. Not long ago, three influential Catholic commentators—Jesuit Father James Schall, Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, and Spectator columnist Damian Thompson—all took aim at Francis. Schall insinuated that Francis might be a heretic. Thompson suggested that Francis was fueling a “Catholic civil war,” and further commented, “prayers are being said for an end to this pontificate within five years, max”—but didn’t reveal whether he thought such prayers sinful. Magister asserted that under Bergoglio, “Christianity matters less,”—a statement that even Thompson called “a ludicrous charge, given Francis’s daily invocation of the words of Jesus to attack corrupt and lazy Christians who pay lip service to the Gospel.”

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