Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of the papacy of Pope Francis is his unification of traditional Catholics and conservative Catholics. What started as an uncivil war in March 2013 -- when traditional Catholic sources such as Rorate (which was intimately familiar with Cardinal Bergoglio's work in Argentina) predicted a massive shift to the left, only to be harshly criticized by many Catholic conservatives who blindly defended Bergoglio as one who would continue the incremental restoration of Pope Benedict XVI -- has grown to a point where both camps are now singing from the same Liber.
We have written of the Francis Effect a few times, using data such as Pew Research Center's statistics on Mass attendance. Examples from the first year of this papacy are here and here.
Fast-forward to 2016.
Today's New York Times (yes, that is correct) provides an update on the Francis Effect by an editor of First Things (yes, that is correct). Entitled "Has Pope Francis Failed?," the op-ed by Matthew Schmitz in today's print edition, also online, is worth a read.