I have always avoided direct criticism of Pope Francis preferring to use terms like 'this present Papacy', it is a Catholic thing about the profound deference owed to the Vicar of Christ on Earth, American friends are often more strident, so maybe it is a European thing too; never criticising the King, only his ministers. The other thing is we know what comes out of the Vatican but not its actual source.
Damian Thompson's blog Holy Smoke carries a podcast with him, Dan Hitchens and Ed Condon discussing 'The Dictator Pope', its here. Though they agree with many of the author's "dots", they join them together differently and therefore dismiss his conclusion.
Condon in particular suggests that Pope Francis rather than being the instigator of violence and corruption is the victim of corrupt Vatican officials, because of his naivete, his inability to be clear and articulate, his isolation from reality and from any who might offer any criticism. The villain-in-chief is the Secretary of State, now Cardinal Parolin.
The thesis of the Dictator Pope is shocking, what is expressed in this little podcast with its image of a weak and out of touch Pope manipulated by bureaucrats in the Vatican and the broader (wealthier) Church and the world is absolutely terrifying. The Dictator Pope offers a far more comforting analysis than the more complex one of Condon and his companions.
After listening to the podcast, I will be interested in your opinions