You'd think that as the managing editor of a "news" operation, CNSNews.com's Michael W. Chapman wouldn't have time to launch attacks on the leader of his faith. You'd be wrong.
Chapman is firmly in the right-wing faction of the Catholic Church, as his approval of Catholics who hate the LGBT community as much as he does. So he's among the folks who think Pope Francis is just too darn liberal. For instance he huffs in a March 23 blog post:
Pope Francis tweeted on Thursday that "to defend the earth and to safeguard water is to protect life," which has led some pro-life leaders to question whether the Pope is broadening the definition of pro-life to include environmental issues, such as protecting "Mother Earth" that, in turn, undermine the principle life issues that stem from abortion and euthanasia.
Chapman went on to lecture the pope:
The "seamless garment" argument of liberal clerics seeks to put issues such as immigration, joblessness, and the environment on the same moral plane as abortion and euthanasia, which is illogical because abortion is the direct killing of another human being for no other reason than that the child is an inconvenience. The same moral position holds for euthanasia: murder is wrong.
Policies and laws against murder are not the same, morally, as policies on immigration or wetlands. Human life (and the immortal soul) takes precedence.
When the pope was reportedly quoted in an interview with a "longtime atheist friend" as saying there is no hell, Chapman was so apoplectic that his blog post on the issue was the CNS lead story for a time on March 29. "This is a denial of the 2,000-year-old teaching of the Catholic Church about the reality of Hell and the eternal existence of the soul," he ranted.
Several hours later, though, Chapman had to update his post the Vatican's statement that the words attributed to the pope were not directly quoted and should not be considered a "faithful transcription."
Chapman followed up a few days later with quotes from Cardinal Raymond Burke -- a right-wing Catholic who was removed by Pope Francis as the head of the Vatican's high court and moved to a ceremonial position, which may have resulted in some anti-Francis bias and which Chapman doesn't mention -- calling the pope's alleged statements a "profound scandal" and "heretical ideas," then denounced the Vatican's walkback of the statements as not strong enough. This was also made the lead story on the CNS front page on April 6.
Chapman also quoted a nun who said that the pope needs "needs a sassy nun" as a personal assistant who will prevent him from ever speaking with his "athiest friend" again.
And that's how Chapman is spending his time instead of, say, trying to make his "news" operation less biased and more credible to the point that we're no longer moved to put scare quotes around "news" when referring to CNS.