Ross Douthat writes as if there is a real core Catholic faith that is being smothered by Francis’ liberal leanings. But after decades of evangelicals proclaiming themselves to be the party of spirituality and faith and integrity and humility and all the other values derived from the example of Christ and then stampeding into the arms of the most repugnant narcissist to ever run for office, one might be forgiven for regarding Douthat’s tears about the state of the Catholic church as disingenuous as best. Thanks to this embrace of Trump, and the sexual abuse scandals, and the residential school scandals, and the Magdalene laundries scandals, and so on and so on, it is very, very hard to regard any religion as anything more than a charade, a club, an exclusive confederation of self-righteous hypocrites. I gaze at these pious individuals in wonder and ask myself, what do you really believe? Anything, other than gaining advantage for the members of your club? Francis should declare that the era of Big Church is over and leave every locality to indulge in their own preferred hypocrisies.