The answer actually has less to do with the Pope and more to do with everyone else.
It's one thing for the Pope to mistake mistakes, or to undermine the Church's teaching role, or play politics, or various other things. Shit happens, and so do shitty popes.
But it's another thing when every criticism of the Pope - including, in my view, entirely fair ones - is answered by would-be papal defenders with a guffaw, an insult, a lecture, and more than a little gaslighting. My response to that kind of thing is to generally make my points louder, more often, and usually with greater insult. Not necessarily the best response, but I'm aware of my habits.
I do not like the thought of long-suffering Catholics not only finding themselves having to deal with the insult of a worldly Pope, but also of having no recourse for discussing their worries, lest some shitheel of a Mark Shea wannabe nag them to death for -daring- to suggest that there may be a problem with the Pope heaping praise on atheistic communists who give him kitschy hammer-and-sickle crucifix art. If they won't receive better from their own bishops and the Pope, at least they should find a good will gesture on the part of people who should be more intellectually sympathetic.
Alas, for many, it is not to be. Why? Who knows, and I won't speculate. Suffice to say I find it rotten, and I do so as someone who tried mightily to give this Pope the benefit of the doubt. Even now, I try to give his actions and words a fair hearing. It is not my fault that he and his allies are too blatant in their actions.