This was a poor idea, for a multitude of reasons.
This would have shown itself, had they entered the medium gradually. As it is, it is like taking a shortcut across a plowed, muddy field.
I am not Catholic so please don't take offense to my ignorance of Church leadership structure, but its my guess is that you don't get to the Vatican level of the Church, much less be selected Pope, without having been through a persecution for your faith a time or two. His response to these attacks may just might get through to someone - maybe not the attacker but someone else watching.
And the haters will have to 'follow' the Pope to keep up with what he's saying, right? God can use that exposure for His good.