Kathryn Lopez

Pope Francis, your honeymoon with the Western press is over.

Of course, media accolades and praise were never his motivation. In fact, he's directly warned against the cult of celebrity that is in danger of missing the point: the Gospel of Christ he teaches.

But when Rolling Stone put him on their cover earlier this year, the piece inside was actually a secularist libertine warning: Don't disappoint us. Don't be another one of those guys reading from the Catechism.

And now the pope, the Holy See, will be appearing before a United Nations committee on torture. The appearance is voluntary on the part of the Holy See and normal for anyone who has signed the Convention Against Torture. And yet there is a disturbing ideological push on the U.N.'s part where Francis and the Catholic Church are concerned.

Earlier this year the U.N.'s Committee on the Rights of the Child made accusations against Pope Francis based on misunderstanding, ignorance and politics, which undermine the credibility of the U.N. and betray its agenda. In 2003, the Boston Globe did the world -- and the Church -- a service when it exposed the depths of a culture where priests were moved around instead of turned over to authorities when they committed crimes. The U.N. bases its accusations on that culture, one that no longer exists, as independent audits make clear. The time and money and screening and training that the Catholic Church puts into protecting children today have made it a different world than the one the U.N. insists exists.

Further, the accusations from the U.N. made it clear that there is a reason evidence doesn't matter, because there's a campaign at work: Church teaching on the complementarity nature of women and men -- that we are made by God with an inherent dignity and a difference that makes sense and is ordered for love and procreation -- is its problem. And this is the danger of secularism today. Cloaked in rhetorical tolerance, a tyrannical streak is a temptation.

Much of the media coverage of this torture show trial to come makes accusations that are stuck in the past, ignoring what works today, missing what's right in front of the world's eyes.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.