He starts with a quote from C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity:
"Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils."
Mark does so because his Usual Suspects are leaping all over Papa Francis, wailing and gnashing their teeth, and howling allegations of heresy, for things like his pious exhortation to stay close to one's guardian angel, perhaps by giving it a name (there is actually an instruction not to use names for angels, unless it's already mentioned in scripture; I reckon God has already given each angel a name of its own, and it is not important for you to know), his denigration of small-t traditions, and his use of a ferula-style crucifix. Mark points out (rightly) that it's tendentious, and that the Christian thing to do is to love the Pope, and to interpret his actions in an empathetic and charitable manner. He decries the drip, drip, drip of venom and hatred that these wrathful people actually enjoy pouring out on the Pope, and again, he is right to do so. Nor is this the first time Mark has exhorted his foes to pray for their enemies, especially people he likes or feels sorry for; he once did the same for Lady Gaga. But as I pointed out then, he typically ONLY does this for his allies. When it comes to his enemies, he says this:
"[Their] goal is to destroy him [Papa Francis] and to remake the Church in the image and likeness of Christianist culture war Pharisees certain of their own righteousness. They want that smaller, purer Church. And by smaller, they mean not only “purged of all those we hate” but “purged of any teaching not in keeping with ideas solely convenient to the needs of the Party of Trump, the magisterium of FOX, and dogmas of Good White Christianists. The goal is to whittle piety down to the Extraordinary Form, Purge the Gays and Liberals, and Magic Abortion Away. Racism, misogyny, the worship of Mammon and Power, Pornocracy for rich white men, cheating workers of their just wages, death for all those whom the Party of Trump wants to kill, destruction of evangelism for all those the Pure wish to expel or block from access to grace, caging of brown children, nativism, enrichment of the rich at the cost of impoverishment of the destitute: these are the real goals of the Perfecti. And they will hide behind the unborn and victims of sexual abuse to achieve those goals."
The vitriol, hatred, condemnation, and venom are palpable. I cannot help but fear that Mark is determined to think his enemies are as bad as possible. May God grace him with love for his enemies greater than any martyr of the Church.
P.S.: Mark also recently wrote a piece on Pope St. Paul VI. I recommend it highly; it is a great piece.