In a now-deleted tweet, Pope Francis told his 17.8 million faithful followers around the world something that sounded a bit like an excerpt from a New Age manual on living one’s best life — or a grab from a how-to book on peddling Lamborghini leases and Tahitian timeshares.
The pontiff’s original tweet, “We Christians are not selling a product. We are communicating a lifestyle,” was met with a bit of a chilly reception on the part of the faithful.
Many of these same people are still reeling over the abusive “lifestyles” of predator priests unveiled in a report by a Pennsylvania grand jury earlier this month.
The pope replaced the deleted tweet with this equally curious aphorism nearly identical to the original version: “We Christians do not have a product to sell, we communicate Life.”
We Christians do not have a product to sell, we communicate Life.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) August 30, 2018
Copious mockery quickly followed the pontiff’s salesy tweets — and it was indeed merciless.
Responses to his latest tweet, and to many others, have focused on the “predator priest” sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the church and, most recently, to the allegations that the pope himself may be among the high-ranking members of the church who covered up such heinous behavior.
Many tweeted expressions of disappointment or even disgust at the Pope’s failure to address accusations that he may have personally played a role in the scandal.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò claims that Pope Francis was aware of allegations against Washington’s former archbishop, Theodore McCarrick.
McCarrick was reportedly punished by Pope Benedict for engaging in sexual activity with seminarians and with an altar boy.
Pope Francis, however, reinstated McCarrick to a high-ranking position in the church.
“The pope learned about it [the sexual abuses] from me on June 23, 2013, and continued to cover for him,” Archbishop Viganò wrote. “He did not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him and made him his trusted counselor.”
“Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them,” Archbishop Viganò added.
In late July, the pope accepted Cardinal McCarrick’s resignation.
That made McCarrick the first cardinal to resign in about a century.
When will your actions match your words? The victims of the worst kind of abuse are still waiting for justice. Is it OK that the ones who covered this up are still in positions of power while the victims struggle everyday?
— John Collins (@johncoll53) August 30, 2018
RESIGN! You have failed in your mandate to root out sexual abuse of seminarians and minors in the church. You enable known predator priests and bishops. You and your cronies must resign and take every corrupt abuser with you #MeToo
— 𝖙𝖍𝖗𝖎𝖑𝖑𝖒𝖔𝖓𝖌𝖊𝖗 (@missmanoushka) August 30, 2018
Please communicate to us Catholics about Vigano's testimony. True or not true. If you covered for McCarrick, please resign.
— alfred morales (@almorales10) August 30, 2018
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.