This sentence sums up the self-serving hypocrisy of the Catholic left.


In a recent article on the meeting between Pope Francis and President Trump, liberal Catholic commentator Michael Sean Winters showcased in a few succinct words how he and other titans of irrelevancy among the Catholic Left perniciously engage in one of the ugliest, twisted, and most common distortions of Pope Francis’ teaching on mercy.

Pope Francis, as everyone knows by now, speaks and writes beautifully on God’s mercy, and on the need for all of us to show greater mercy, especially toward those to whom we may be least inclined to extend it.  That is, after all, the whole point of God’s mercy: those who need it most are those who are least “deserving” of it – which is to say, all of us.

But for enlightened progressive Catholics like Michael Sean Winters, mercy is only for the right kind of sinner.

How else to explain the following sentence:

“I can sympathize with those who felt a bit of revulsion watching the pope exchange gifts and smile for the camera with our president.”


Can you imagine Winters expressing “revulsion” if Pope Francis gave a friendly greeting and a smile to, say, a convicted murderer and rapist on death row?  Of course not.  In that case, we would be treated to a self-serving gush about how moving and wonderful a gesture it was, and how Winters and his ilk would be hugging murderers or rapists too if only they knew any, and how totally on board they are with this wonderful new thing called mercy that is brand new to the Church, in sharp contrast to the rigid and stingy pastoral approach of John Paul and Benedict, and blah blah blah…

Look, you don’t have to love President Trump.  You can think his policies are contradictory to the teaching of the Church.  You can think he’s unfit to be president.  You can believe with all your heart that he is a great sinner.  The greatest even.

But spare the rest of us the transparent charade of a selective mercy that’s reserved for the kind of sinners you like.

Revulsion at seeing Pope Francis greet President Trump and smile for a photo?

One could be forgiven for concluding that the leftist Catholics just don’t get Pope Francis.  But that’s not true, is it?

In fact, they do get him.  They know.  They know what he teaches about mercy.

But their loyalties lie elsewhere.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

John White lives in the Chicago area with his wife and seven children.


  1. I think you’re misreading his piece.

    When he writes, “I can sympathize with those…” he’s not saying he agrees with them, just that he understands. He’s acknowledging that a meeting between the Pope and Trump will necessarily be controversial, which is true. But he also says that judging from this meeting, people who expected the worst were wrong. Far from criticizing the pope’s teachings on mercy (which he never mentions), he specifically urges people “to be more like Pope Francis, concerned about a range of issues, never looking for a fight, willing to smile for the cameras with any political leader but never letting their political involvement become partisan. He’s praising the Pope’s actions. This sounds like a message we all can agree with, no?

    It’s unfortunate that you seem to reflexively dismiss him outright, because you missed a good message.

    I get that this website is of, by, and for conservative Catholics only. However the constant smearing and slandering of liberal Catholics by many writers on here is deeply offensive.

    As a liberal Catholic (who has also worked with people on death row), I can assure you I am very concerned about mercy. Most practicing Catholics are, regardless of political leanings.

  2. Way back in history, Barack Obama was President. Your website stated unequivocally that Catholic institutions should not play host to President Obama due to the fact he held policy positions contrary to Catholic teaching. How many articles were posted on this site about President Obama’s commencement address at Notre Dame? His speech at Georgetown?

    Now we have a new President who opposes Catholic teaching in a number of areas: immigration, torture, just war to name a few. But I’m not even concerned about that.

    If President Obama had called Pope Benedict XVI “disgraceful” and an enemy of Christianity, am I to believe that your site would have practiced restraint and forgiveness? You spent eight years ripping into President Obama. I’m sure you would have been screaming to high heaven.

    Well, these are the words of Donald Trump on Pope Francis: “For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now, with our current President. No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith. They are using the Pope as a pawn and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant.”

    And yet, Catholic Vote never said a word about this, to my knowledge.

    Perhaps it would be wise to stop criticizing those who disagree with you for engaging in the exact behavior you and your organization engage in.

  3. Hypocrisy by the LEFT? Thrice married liar and shyster. His new wife is a “Catholic”. Compound that scenario with ardent right wingers throwing themselves at Trumps feet. King Donald. How could it be any worse?

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