I was planning on writing something along these lines, but James Taranto has done the job and done it well.
Atheist Malcolm Pollack gets it right too and refers us to a fine piece by Pat Buchanan.
And then there is this by Michael Brendan Dougherty on the ascendancy of Jorge Bergoglio:
But the other way to look at the dawn of this papacy is that it is one more in the pile of recent Catholic novelties and mediocrities. He is the first Latin American pope, the first Jesuit to be pope, and the first to take the name Francis. And so he falls in line with the larger era of the church in the past 50 years which has been defined by ill-considered experimentation: a “pastoral” ecumenical council at Vatican II, a new synthetic vernacular liturgy, the hasty revision of the rules for almost all religious orders within the church, the dramatic gestures and “saint factory” of Pope John Paul II’s papacy, along with the surprise resignation of Benedict XVI. In this vision, Benedict’s papacy, which focused on “continuity,” seems like the exception to an epoch of stunning and unsettling change, which—as we know—usually heralds collapse.
"Ill-considered experimentation" is right. I would go further and call it profoundly stupid. People who are drawn to religion tend to be of a conservative bent. Conservatives don't like change, tolerating it only when necessary. For a conservative, there is a defeasible presumption in favor of keeping things as they are, a defeasible presumption in favor of traditional formulations and usages, beliefs and practices. Now the world outside the Church is rife with change, not all of it bad, of course, but much of it unsettling. The Church ought to be a place of stability and order, an oasis of calm, a venue where the ancient is preserved as a temporal reminder of the eternal.
So you drive people away from the Church by instituting 'reforms' that accommodate the Church to the crap culture outside it. This is a large topic and a fit one for a large-scale rant, but it is time to punch the clock. I will just mention three stupidities: getting rid of the Latin mass; abolishing the no-meat-on-Friday rule, and the asinine PC re-labelling of confession as 'reconciliation.' Pee-Cee crapola and just the tip of the iceberg.
Even if Catholicism is pure buncombe with no transcendent warrant, if it wants to survive immanently speaking, then it must not allow itself to be watered down into some form of namby-pamby secular humanist bullshit.
Have I succeeded in expressing my disapprobation of recent developments?
The dopes inside the Church are worse than those outside it.