2) He's preaching only to the Neo-Cath choir, not to trads. If he were preaching to trads in this series, he would have cited the disasters of Assisi. And he wouldn't portray John Paul II as a hero, but as one of the most disastrous popes in the history of the Church.
If you criticize the heterodox teachings and practices of bishops and priests, then, in response to the inevitable "to whom shall we go," you can say "to Peter." If you take the approach of the SSPX, or The Remnant, or Catholic Family News, and consistently attack the Pope, then, in response to the inevitable "to whom shall we go," all you can say is "to Peter, when he's teaching and behaving properly." Without meaning to, you wind up damaging any semblance of unity around the Office of Peter, the Rock, and invite people to substitute the SSPX, the Remnant and Catholic Family News as proper interpreters of the Magisterium. It's a "soft" form of sedevacantism where you acknowledge your loyalty to the Pope but undermine him at every turn.
Bishops and priests can be replaced, so exposing their misdeeds has at least some hope of response. If the Pope "misbehaves," there isn't a Parliament that can impeach him or any method at all of "getting a better Pope." That's just reality.
There are and always have been Popes who were not candidates for canonization. Some have been truly embarrassing. The majority of Catholics don't follow the Pope's actions or words with the same intensity that "true believers" on both the left and the right do. For most Catholics, all they know about the Church is what they "learn" or "experience" at Mass (the relatively few Catholics who actually go to Mass). If they watch RealCatholicTV.com, and the Vortex, they represent a microscopic sample of the Catholic Church at large. To alert these people to controversial teachings or actions by the Pope accomplishes nothing but reducing the "hanging in there by your fingernails" faith that is the norm.
RealCatholicTV.com is not going to say anything about the Assisi meetings. Why? Because there's not much about those events that will strengthen the faith of Catholics. Even the secular media ignored these Assisi meetings (for the most part). Assisi is capable of being interpreted as supporting or endorsing religious indifferentism, and to counter those interpretations (as the Pope himself would do if asked) would go over the heads of most people and do little to satisfy those who consider "all things Assisi" to be scandalous. We (RealCatholicTV.com) have, on more than one occasion, addressed the issue of religious indifferentism. Who benefits by doing a "piece" on Assisi that can only sow confusion among the faithful. Some things are properly judged "the less said, the better." Assisi is one such thing. Kissing the Koran would be another.
Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have been pretty remarkable in defending orthodoxy in these terribly secular times. They have also shown their humanity and fallibility and the ability to give scandal. If we (RealCatholicTV.com) emphasize what is good and "ignore" what might not advance the cause of the Faith, exactly how are we harming anyone? The Truth always helps, while sin and its consequences always tear down. As I said above, with bishops and priests it is possible to appeal to a higher authority for redress of grievances. With a Pope, what is the proper response? To harp on their "deficiencies" leads people to lose confidence in both the Church and the Pope, and that's not an appropriate or fair response to such deficiencies. I, personally, am not happy that our current Pope writes as BOTH "Pope Benedict XVI" AND "Ratzinger," as "Peter" and "theologian." I think it's asking too much of Catholics to make this kind of distinction when listening to the words of the Pope. I wish he wouldn't do that. I wish, at Assisi, that the Pope had issued the equivalent of an "altar call" and invited everyone present to join the Catholic Church! But how is the cause of Our Lord advanced by using a prominent media vehicle to express MY opinions? People who love the Pope are given reasons not to. Tradition protects us. Knowledge of our Faith protects us. If the Pope has a "bad day," it's not likely to upset me, even though I wish very much that he NEVER had a "bad day."
We have a Pope, the Successor of Peter, the Rock of unity and stability in the Catholic Church. We have Our Lord's promise that He will be with us and protect us from error. That promise doesn't extend to matters of prudential judgment or private teaching. If the Pope says something confusing, e.g., some of his statements about environmentalism, then why go out of our way to point out to people (most of whom don't even follow what the Pope says regularly) that he said something likely to be confusing? If, for example, every "papal offense" posted at Most Holy Family Monastery is absolutely true, it doesn't change that the Pope is the Pope and that we give him obedience and loyalty when he acts in his solemn capacity as Pope. Assisi is not a magisterial statement, just an example of papal action capable of causing scandal. Even in my personal life, I don't go out of my way to tell friends and relatives that the Pope may have said or done something that is "dubious" or embarrassing because, as I said above, "to whom shall we go?" If we decide that, like Obama, that "this Pope is not what we need or want," it's not like we have some options to get a new Pope! We CAN get a new President. There is absolutely no process whereby unhappy faithful can organize petition drives to put "the next Pope" up for public referendum.
We (RealCatholicTV.com) are just as aware as anyone here that our current and past Popes can say and do controversial things. We choose to emphasize what is good and ignore what might be less good. I (and this is me speaking personally) think that the SSPX, The Remnant and Catholic Family News include wonderfully faithful Catholics, with whom I have more in common than not. I just think it is harmful to foment hostility towards the Pope such that we wind up being practically if not actually "out of communion" with Rome. We only have one Pope at a time, and I hope never to see a process in place that will enable us to "vote the Pope out of office" to be replaced by one WE judge "more faithfully Catholic."
The Pope is not a 24/7 "infallibility machine." There are good reasons why Vatican I carefully defined when the Pope is speaking infallibly. We trust that the Pope will not issue dogmatic statements that are false. We don't trust that his every word about every thing in every circumstance deserves to be analyzed, exposed and judged by the likes of ourselves. I don't have problems with people who think the Pope should have done some things differently. That makes for good discussions. I do have problems with portraying the Pope as untrustworthy such that Catholics lose their faith. Some issues are best left to competent theologians and not discussed in public. Or maybe over coffee with friends. Most of us don't really need, and we don't really benefit, from airing what we judge to be papal dirty laundry.