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Pope criticises ’backward’ elements in US Catholic Church

Pope Francis criticises ’backward’ conservative elements in US Catholic Church

Pope Francis has openly criticised what he terms the “backwardness” exhibited by certain conservative factions within the US Catholic Church.

The pontiff pointed out that, in some instances, political ideology has begun to overshadow genuine faith. This can prompt a displacement of core religious values.

Francis made the comments on August 5 in a private meeting in Lisbon with members of the Jesuit order during his trip for World Youth Day.

During a question-and-answer session, a Portuguese Jesuit recounted his disheartening experience during a sabbatical in the US.

He lamented the presence of hostility towards the pope’s leadership within a segment of American Catholics, even among some bishops.

Addressing this concern, Pope Francis acknowledged the existence of a “very strong reactionary attitude” present within the US Catholic Church. He highlighted its organised nature, noting its influence on emotional attachment and affiliation.

Francis termed this attitude as “backward” and cautioned against the potential pitfalls of such a perspective. He stressed it could foster an environment of narrow-mindedness and closure.

Moreover, Pope Francis underscored the peril of allowing ideological beliefs to supersede genuine faith. He stressed that this trend could erode the authentic tradition of the Church.

He cautioned against the replacement of faith by membership within certain segments of the Church. Then Francis emphasised the importance of upholding the broader unity of the faith.

Pope often criticised by conservatives

In the ten years since his election, Francis has been criticised by conservative sectors of the US Church who are opposed to reforms such as giving women and lay Catholics more roles and making the Church more welcoming and less judgmental towards some, including LGBT people.

Appealing for a more progressive outlook, Pope Francis underscored the necessity of embracing an evolving understanding of faith and morals. He invoked historical examples, highlighting that while certain pontiffs of the past tolerated practices like slavery, the Church has evolved over time.

While the Pope’s comments resonate with many who seek a more open and adaptable Church, his sentiments have also ignited reactions.

One prominent critic, Cardinal Raymond Burke, cautioned that Francis’ upcoming bishops’ meeting in October to shape the Church’s future might inadvertently foster “confusion and error and division.”


Religion News Service


La Civiltà Cattolica

Additional reading

News category: World.

https://cathnews.co.nz/2023/08/31/pope-francis-criticises-backward-conservative-elements-in-us-catholic-church/ Pope criticises ’backward’ elements in US Catholic Church

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