It’s no secret that there have been bad popes. In today’s On the Square, Brantly Millegan warns against an extreme ultramontanism:
A number of Catholic authors have endeavored to defend Pope Francis from criticism, particularly stemming from his recent interview. They have tried to defend him not only from misinterpretation, but also from criticisms of what he actually did say, his style, his choice of what to emphasize, etc. Their goal is admirable, and I largely agree with their sentiments, but in an effort to defend Pope Francis, Catholics must be sure to not overstate the role, powers, and privileges of the papacy.
Read the rest here. Millegan cites Benedict IX as a prime example of papal promiscuity. A man with a unique approach to his duties, Benedict IX was the youngest pope in history, but I don’t think we can attribute all his mistakes to his youth.