Eight years ago, the Cardinal electors made a dreadful mistake. Even I, a mere lawyer in Cleveland, knew that Benedict XVI wanted Angelo Scola to succeed him. That is why he had moved Scola from Venice to Milan.
Eight years later, I can see many arguments for the case that Francis has strengthened one faction in the Church against other factions in internecine squabbles that do nothing to attract people to Christ. I see no argument at all for the case that he has strengthened the Church as a whole or is drawing more people to Her. You never hear about the “Francis effect” any more because there is none.
I am open to counter-arguments, if you have them. I don’t.
The Cardinal electors have made mistakes before. The Church survived. The Church will survive Francis. I’m certainly not going anywhere. Still, I wish Benedict XVI had never resigned.