Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

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Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#1  Postby DoctorE » Oct 16, 2013 3:23 pm

Rattled by Pope Francis’s admonishment to Catholics not to be “obsessed” by doctrine, his stated reluctance to judge gay people and his apparent willingness to engage just about anyone — including atheists — many conservative Catholics are doing what only recently seemed unthinkable:

They are openly questioning the pope.

After returning from his first international trip in July, Pope Francis said that it is not his place to judge gay priests.

Concern among traditionalists began building soon after Francis was elected this spring. Almost immediately, the new pope told non-Catholic and atheist journalists he would bless them silently out of respect. Soon after, he eschewed Vatican practice and included women in a foot-washing ceremony.

The wary traditionalists became critical when, in an interview a few weeks ago, Francis said Catholics shouldn’t be “obsessed” with imposing doctrines, including on gay marriage and abortion. Then earlier this month, Francis told an atheist journalist that people should follow good and fight evil as they “conceive” of them. These remarks followed an interview with journalists this summer aboard the papal airplane in which the pope declared that it is not his role to judge someone who is gay “if they accept the Lord and have goodwill.”

Never mind that the pope has also made clear his acceptance of church doctrine, which regards gay sex and abortion as sins and bans women from the priesthood. Behind the growing skepticism is the fear in some quarters that Francis’s all-embracing style and spontaneous speech, so open as it is to interpretation, are undoing decades of church efforts to speak clearly on Catholic teachings.

Continues: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ ... story.html
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#2  Postby JVRaines » Oct 16, 2013 3:35 pm

Of course the right-wingers are pissed off. They have been coddled for 35 years by the last two popes. But they don't represent the future of Francis' church and he knows it.
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#3  Postby Blackadder » Oct 16, 2013 4:11 pm

So what are the odds of this Poop meeting a sudden and untimely death, like J-P2's predecessor?
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#4  Postby Animavore » Oct 16, 2013 5:09 pm

Like his own predecessor even. I haven't seen any evidence he's still alive :think:
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#5  Postby Mick » Oct 16, 2013 6:15 pm

The problem here, as I see it, is that journalists take what he says outside of context, they do not know Church doctrine or its positions, or they entirely misinterpret what he said. Nothing he said here contrasts with anything said by the last few popes. What is more, it is no big deal to question what the pope said in and of itself, since nothing here, even if it were in contrast, is said with papal infallibility. It is just the opinions of a man who happens to be pope.
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#6  Postby Mick » Oct 16, 2013 6:22 pm

Christ said, "I am the Truth"; he did not say "I am the custom." -- St. Toribio
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#7  Postby Blackadder » Oct 16, 2013 6:53 pm



So the Kaffliks are still gay-haters and misogynists? Ah good, well that's all cleared up then.
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#8  Postby Mick » Oct 16, 2013 7:01 pm

Hahaha.
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#9  Postby JVRaines » Oct 16, 2013 7:16 pm

Mick wrote:The problem here, as I see it, is that journalists take what he says outside of context, they do not know Church doctrine or its positions, or they entirely misinterpret what he said. Nothing he said here contrasts with anything said by the last few popes. What is more, it is no big deal to question what the pope said in and of itself, since nothing here, even if it were in contrast, is said with papal infallibility. It is just the opinions of a man who happens to be pope.

As made clear in the article, that's exactly what conservatives are complaining about. They don't like the feelgood haziness of Francis' public speech and they don't like seeing it misunderstood and sensationalized by the media. They want a return to doctrine-laden lectures that keep the hammer coming down.
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#10  Postby Arnold Layne » Oct 16, 2013 7:47 pm

Mick wrote:The problem here, as I see it, is that journalists take what he says outside of context, they do not know Church doctrine or its positions, or they entirely misinterpret what he said. Nothing he said here contrasts with anything said by the last few popes. What is more, it is no big deal to question what the pope said in and of itself, since nothing here, even if it were in contrast, is said with papal infallibility. It is just the opinions of a man who happens to be pope.

That's a pity. I was beginning to think this fella was better than the previous ones.
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#11  Postby Moses de la Montagne » Oct 16, 2013 8:30 pm

Mick wrote:The problem here, as I see it, is that journalists take what he says outside of context, they do not know Church doctrine or its positions, or they entirely misinterpret what he said. Nothing he said here contrasts with anything said by the last few popes. What is more, it is no big deal to question what the pope said in and of itself, since nothing here, even if it were in contrast, is said with papal infallibility. It is just the opinions of a man who happens to be pope.


Of course it's not infallible. What bothers the conservatives is not that he's giving his opinions, it's that his opinions bespeak a liberal Catholicism. Francis has frequently derided the "traditionalism" that Benedict worked so hard to restore. He's tried to downplay Benedict's motu proprio granting a greater access to the Latin Mass, and just recently he's announced that he'll steadfastly refuse to re-open talks with the ultra-conservative SSPX, a splinter association of Latin Mass priests that keeps on growing as "traditionalism" gets trendier among young Catholics. (Benedict wanted the SSPX back so badly, he lifted the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying bishop). Francis, on the other hand, decries these groups as "restorationists" who want to turn the clock back to the 40s and 50s, with Latin vespers and the clacking of Rosary beads. To Francis, the conservative agenda is so retrograde and irrelevant it's almost funny. "Not to laugh," he says, but:

There are some restorationist groups. I know some, it fell upon me to receive them in Buenos Aires. And one feels as if one goes back 60 years! Before the Council... One feels in 1940... An anecdote, just to illustrate this, it is not to laugh at it, I took it with respect, but it concerns me; when I was elected, I received a letter from one of these groups, and they said: "Your Holiness, we offer you this spiritual treasure: 3,525 rosaries." Why don't they say, 'we pray for you, we ask...', but this thing of counting... And these groups return to practices and to disciplines that I lived through - not you, because you are not old - to disciplines, to things that in that moment took place, but not now, they do not exist today...


Conservative Catholics would be right to view this pope with suspicion.
Last edited by Moses de la Montagne on Oct 17, 2013 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#12  Postby Mick » Oct 16, 2013 9:20 pm

Suppose all of the above is true. Does the public even care about these issues? Are they even aware? No. 'instead, they care about issues concerning female priesthood, gay marriage and abortion, among others. The whole post is irrelevant to theissue at hand.
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#13  Postby SafeAsMilk » Oct 16, 2013 9:27 pm

Mick wrote:The problem here, as I see it, is that journalists take what he says outside of context, they do not know Church doctrine or its positions,

Sure they do. The Church takes every opportunity available to let every one know just what they think of the gays and people who have abortions, they talk about it obsessively. Maybe you should pay attention, because that's what he's saying. Of course, he never said he doesn't still look down on gays and people who have abortions. That would be going too far.

or they entirely misinterpret what he said. Nothing he said here contrasts with anything said by the last few popes.

Except for the fact that they never said anything like it, of course.

What is more, it is no big deal to question what the pope said in and of itself, since nothing here, even if it were in contrast, is said with papal infallibility. It is just the opinions of a man who happens to be pope.

Yes, he can't speak with infallibility unless he's wearing that fabulous hat.
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#14  Postby Moses de la Montagne » Oct 16, 2013 9:38 pm

Mick wrote:Suppose all of the above is true. Does the public even care about these issues? Are they even aware? No. 'instead, they care about issues concerning female priesthood, gay marriage and abortion, among others. The whole post is irrelevant to theissue at hand.


You may be slightly confused about the article in the OP, Mick. The overall "issue at hand" is conservative Catholics getting nervous about Pope Francis' seemingly liberal bent, as evinced in his interviews. The stuff I added has all been covered by mainstream news outlets, like the Washington Post I'm sure, from which the OP quotes. It's not esoteric stuff. The lifting of Bp. Williamson's excommunication was a big to-do when it went down. When a pope considers welcoming back a Holocaust denier, eyebrows tend to raise.

I think the general public finds much of it interesting. Internecine quarrels can be amusing to watch from the outside. And who doesn't enjoy having the straight-laced fuddy-duddies get irritated by a gnomic rascal? That's a classic comedy formula.
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#15  Postby willhud9 » Oct 17, 2013 8:56 pm

I for one am finding Francis to be refreshing from Benedict and bringing things back to John Paul before.
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#16  Postby trubble76 » Oct 18, 2013 10:29 am

I'd be happier if he did something about the catholic tradition of lying about miracles so that politically expedient saints can be made. Baby steps.
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#17  Postby Alan B » Oct 18, 2013 2:03 pm

Blackadder wrote:So what are the odds of this Poop meeting a sudden and untimely death, like J-P2's predecessor?

Yeah. That thought went through my mind a while ago as soon as he began to talk about things contrary to the conservative mainstream.
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#18  Postby Byron » Oct 18, 2013 11:02 pm

The conservatives should count their blessings, as Francis has shown no willingness to allow debate of, let alone to change, dogmatic teaching. Within days of his "stop obsessing about gay people and abortion" speech, Francis had excommunicated an Australian priest for supporting female ordination.

Actions are what count. Unless Francis challenges the underlying problem then his "liberalism" is just PR. A change in emphasis isn't a change in substance.

I imagine it suits Francis to be attacked by trad Catholics. Feeds the illusion that he's a "liberal pope," without forcing him to confront dissent.

What would damage Francis would be an organized and vocal attack from genuinely liberal Catholics, like America's Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The LCWR have allowed themselves to be silenced by Vatican decree. If they stood as one, and vocally condemned the Vatican's misogyny and attack on free speech, refusing to be silenced, then we, and the trads, would get to see how "liberal" Francis really is.
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#19  Postby Byron » Oct 18, 2013 11:19 pm

willhud9 wrote:I for one am finding Francis to be refreshing from Benedict and bringing things back to John Paul before.

Francis shares John Paul's charisma and gift for populism, no question. Another "rock star pope" is Madison Avenue manna for the Church.

That image allows Francis, as it allowed John Paul, to get away with ruthless authoritarianism in the cause of dogmatism. John Paul suppressed all discussion of female ordination. Why do we accept this patriarchy, this misogyny? We sure as hell wouldn't accept a similar decree based on race. John Paul forbade Catholics from even debating whether women should be equal to men. It should appall us, and destroy his legacy. Yet he's gone down as a hero. Even Christopher Hitchens was deferential. Why? Popularity, I guess.

I think I preferred Benedict, who at least looked like what he was (or rather, what he became, thanks to the actions of some hotheaded '68ers).
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Re: Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

#20  Postby Horwood Beer-Master » Oct 19, 2013 10:45 am

Francis is a Conservative Catholic.

He's the Pope; the clue is in the fucking title.
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