The epithet “hater” is cropping up a lot lately. Within the pop-culture/media narrative, it is usually quite generously applied to anyone who opposes the secular humanist march toward unbridled egalitarianism. For example, you’re a bona fide “hater” if you defend traditional marriage and a “hater” if you defend the rights of the unborn. Opponents of homosexual “marriage” and abortion “rights” are the most popular examples of media-defined “haters” nowadays, but there are many classifications of cold, merciless “haters” on their list. “Why must you hate?” is an accusatory chant often aimed at conservatives. Don’t want to be painted as a “hater”? Get onboard whatever secular cause is the plat du jour and we’re cool.

Well, a new breed of media-defined “haters” has been born. “The Hater is dead. Long live the Hater!” Check out The Daily Beast and you’ll learn about The Secret Pope Francis Haters. I kid you not. Who makes up this secret cabal of anti-papists? Traditional Catholics, of course! Like most drivel that seeps from liberal cracks, the newly minted “Pope Francis Haters” tag accomplishes the goal of being laughable and offensive at the same time. The Daily Beast piece is just another twist to a coordinated effort by the secular media to redefine and co-opt not just Pope Francis, but the Catholic Church itself.

From what I can tell, if there has been any mild criticism of Pope Francis on the part of so-called traditional Catholics, it mostly has had to do with recommending choosing words more carefully when speaking off the cuff to an agenda-driven, hostile press corps. “Hate” is nowhere in the mix, at least not on our side. A preference here or there for a different style? Sure! But you can’t be authentically Catholic with even a scintilla of hatred poisoning the soul. What’s more, solicitude and love for the Holy Father, the successor to Saint Peter, is a hallmark of traditional Catholicism.

“Why must you hate?” 

Well, we don’t.