Pope Francis appears before delivering his Easter message in the Urbi et Orbi (to the City and the World) address from the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, April 2018.
Osservatore Romano / Handout via REUTERS

In diagnosing the recent divide within the Catholic Church, R. R. Reno (“The Populist Wave Hits the Catholic Church,” November 13) reveals a profound shift in the way the minority of U.S. Catholics who oppose Pope Francis portray him and his predecessors.

Responding to my recent Foreign Affairs article (“The Catholic Church’s Biggest Crisis Since the Reformation,” October 11), Reno casts the Francis pontificate as “deregulatory,” and in line with “a secular ruling establishment.” At the same time, he offers a somewhat skeptical reassessment of Pope John Paul II, who was until recently regarded as a hero among conservative Catholics,

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