In The Smoke of Satan in the Temple of God, my second chapter deals at length with a phenomenon that is still alive in some circles, namely, that Pope Francis will take the Catholic Church in a new direction, at odds with the desire of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to restore traditionalist elements, as evidenced in a recent Associated Press editorial:
"Francis' decision to disregard church law and wash the feet of two girls - a Serbian Muslim and an Italian Catholic - during a Holy Thursday ritual has become something of the final straw, evidence that Francis has little or no interest in one of the key priorities of Benedict's papacy: reviving the pre-Vatican II traditions of the Catholic Church."
As I point out in The Smoke of Satan, there were indeed reform-minded Council Fathers who responded to Pope John’s vision of the Church growing in spiritual riches as a fruit of the Council under the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the hope that the faithful might through grace be aided in turning hearts and minds toward heavenly things. It should not surprise the reader that many “liberal Catholics” view the pontificate of John Paul II as too “conservative,” and out of touch with the modern world, while the traditionalists view the writings and teachings of the Holy Father as modernist! Thus the schema of “liberal” (progressive, left) vs. conservative (traditional, right) which followed upon the close of Vatican II is wholly inadequate for explaining the present-day crisis of faith within the Church of Jesus Christ, though it is most unfortunate that usage of these terms persist among many Catholics and in the media today. Division within Christ’s Church is a clear attack by the evil one. Satan’s strategy here is the time-honored one of divide et impera - divide and conquer. Remember, too, Jesus' words to the Pharisees: “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.” Quite simply, no ideology, no matter how sincerely embraced, may substitute for personal conversion.