Was Steve Bannon behind the campaign smear against Pope Francis?
It's all over Internet today. I saw it first at the NYT. So listen, I don't know how true everything about the Bannon-Burke friendship is - but the possibility that somehow Bannon is out to undermine Pope Francis makes sense.
I'm convinced papering Rome with anti-papist posters was financed by anti-Catholic entities. Was it Bannon? He is reportedly anti-Francis? So maybe there is a connection?
Even if the secular reports are skewed against Bannon and Trump - it demonstrates that the anti-papist propaganda probably has a secular component, and is most likely financed by anti-Catholic/anti-Papist principals. The smear campaign against the Pope, signed by the poster campaign in Rome, reminds me of the Masonic picketing and leaflet drop St. Maximilian Kolbe witnessed while studying in Rome - which moved him to form the MMI. It is not something faithful Catholics would support.
If there is a perception that Cardinal Burke is allied with political ideologues such as Steve Bannon and other political persons or entities, it is no wonder that the Pope would lighten the duties of Cardinal Burke to protect him from being manipulated by enemies of the Church. No doubt Cardinal Burke is a holy man, but even holy men can be deceived and manipulated. St. John Paul II is a great example of that - considering his endorsement of Marcial Maciel Degollado.
The Bannon connection might be propaganda as well.
Of course, these stories that are circulating in secular media and may simply be part of the 'Never Trump' campaign as well as some other offensive against the Church; albeit taking advantage of Cardinal Burke's high profile and criticism of Pope Francis to give the impression their opposition remains loyal to the Papal office.
That said, it's definitely gossip, innuendo and speculation pretty much intended to discredit the Holy Father and divide Catholics even more. It's unfortunate that such eminent Churchmen should be involved - wittingly or unwittingly. It's difficult to know for sure, therefore it's important to avoid giving much credence to reports against the Church, the Pope, and the hierarchy - especially from secular and social media.
Priests and bishops: Avoid politics in and outside the Church - and definitely, refuse all honors, titles, and awards. Those who flatter you deceive you.
[Oh. I may be wrong.]