Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach

washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/conservative-catholics-question-pope-franciss-approach/2013/10/12/21d7f484-2cf4-11e3-8ade-a1f23cda135e_story.html?hpid=z3

  • Kathie :bowdown:

During the previous three decades, popes John Paul II and Benedict shared a focus: Make orthodox teachings crystal clear so Catholics don’t get lost in an increasingly messy, relativistic world.

Catholics also became accustomed to popes who were largely speaking to “the Church,” rather than the public.

Imagine that. A pope who believes in evangelizing the world.

I have to take issue with the reporters opinion. He is not the first I heard that thinks he knows what one of the past Popes “focus” was. Fortunately, I do not have Alzheimer’s yet and can remember these same criticisms of Pope John Paul II from this same type of Catholic.

Whether are not these reporters are just trying to be divisive or express their own opinions…:shrug:

As long as people are only questioning the Pope on matters of personal or prudential judgement, I don’t see a problem.

Doctrine and dogma are not to be questioned, but beyond that, what the Pope says (or how he says it) is open for discussion and debate.

God Bless

I don’t remember any criticism of Bl. John Paul II for being unclear on doctrine.

God Bless

I do. A lot. Koran and Assisi pop in my mind without looking anything up. We also have his statements on the death penalty. Pope Benedict’s Caritas in Veritate brought criticism for his judgment. I could go on and on if I started searching these forums. Some people will not ever be pleased. I guess that is why Pope Francis is just doing what God leads him to do instead of trying to please everyone. You know, like Jesus did.

“In the past everything you heard from a pope was prepared or formally released. And that was intentional — not to say anything ad hoc. And it’s also intentional that this one does,” said Phil Lawler, editor of Catholic World News, a conservative news agency. “I think his entire focus is outside the church. That’s huge.”

Though I share the concerns - I will hold on 100%+ to faith and trust in the promise of the God and Holy Spirit to lead the Holy Father and the Church.

Catholics also became accustomed to popes who were largely speaking to “the Church,” rather than the public. These men often communicated in the language of Catholic theology, and through books, not through long, freewheeling interviews, like Pope Francis.

I do not concur. Whenever the (any) Holy Father speaks he speaks to the public since that is what the universal Church is.

Also the secular media is having a field day with all of this…that is clear.

Good article, which does not so much analyze Pope Francis or take sides regarding his approach, but presents a range of attitudes of Catholics who are uncomfortable with Pope Francis. One of those interviewed/quoted (Dr. Robert Royal) seems arrogant and even condescending :eek: in his criticism of Francis. Two others (Popcak, Barringer) speak with humility and insight. It’s worth reading.

That too is something that is scarcely unique to this pontificate.

Popcak brings up the parable of the Prodigal Son, which John Allen also used in a recent article. To me, that really encapsulates a lot of the reaction to Pope Francis. He is very popular among many groups of non-Catholics and disenfranchised Catholics. The only group that I have so far seen any degree of reticence from is some conservative/traditional Catholics. And it does strike me as similar to the grumbling over the attention being given to the prodigal children while they have been thanklessly toiling in the field all along.

The article also mentions Francis being less measured in some of his remarks. I can see that a little, too. In his recent talk to catechists, he says that he far prefers a Church that makes mistakes than one that is closed in on itself and gets sick because of the stale air. To me, this also sort of encapsulates Francis’ approach. He is more concerned with reaching out to those outside the Church than he is about getting misinterpreted by the secular press.

I agree that what Pope Francis doing is certainly not diametrically opposed to things that John Paul II and Benedict did. But the perception of a lot of people is that it is. I was recently talking with some “progressive” Catholics who are just ecstatic as they think that Francis will soon start lifting sanctions against certain Jesuit theologians and that they will no longer have to hide their support of women’s ordination for fear of being labeled heretics. I think it’s those types of reactions that concern conservative Catholics more than what the pope is actually doing and saying.

The secular media is always anti-Catholic (in one way or another)

The secular media twisted Benedict’s words too, but tried to make Benedict out as old fashioned, out-of-date, out-of-touch, etc. With Benedict, they fed the anti-Catholic rhetoric.

With Francis, they are making him out to be more liberal than he is. They are making him sound more “Protestant like” to make the Protestants feel like they are “winning” and at the same time confusing ultra-orthodox and/or uneducated Catholics.

NOTE: Of course, I’m not saying that I believe there is an organized conspiracy against Catholics in the media. However, the majority of the USA is of Protestant background, so naturally a non-Catholic reporter is going to have an embedded point of view.

I have heard at least two different homilies in the last month by different priests talking about the Prodigal Son in regards to conservative Catholics’ reactions to the Pope.

I feel that Joe5859 has used the correct word for this situation which is perception. People who want to see the Church change on certain issues are perceiving the statements of the Pope the way they want things to go. But, when I read what Pope Francis had said regarding the Church teachings such as woman being ordained or contraception, etc. he seems to be where the Church has always been and probably always will be. The teachings are not changing. So what is going on seems like a communication problem to me. My sense has been the Pope seeks a change of focus not beliefs. Go out and do more for the poor and troubled in our world. The Cardinals who elected him probably knew exactly where he would set out and wanted him to go there or else it would not have been him elected. He seems to be misunderstood right now by I suspect that when he refines the way he responds off the cuff we will see that really not much has changed. Then, many people who think that we will have gay marriages being performed by woman priests will go back to feeling the way they did about the Church before he was elected.

Right. There will be a great many that – at the end of Francis’ pontificate – will look back and suddenly realize “Hey, all that Catholic teaching is still the same!”

My hope is that those who suddenly find themselves having positive feelings towards the Catholic Church for perhaps the first time in their life will be softened and come to encounter the Lord. And then through that encounter, they can come to see that Catholic teaching --as it always has been and always will be – is what best makes sense of that encounter.

Right now, Pope Francis is repeating, with simplicity and clarity, all I was taught as a boy. The media is not, for the most part, our friend. For some, they can only view the last two Popes and the current Pope, through their own lenses, trying to find anything in their words to fit their worldview. If only they can turn the Pope to the Dar… I mean, Media Side. But their hopes will not be realized. Pope Benedict once commented that if no one from the outside had not said something bad/negative about him on a given day, he had to do a second examination of conscience to make sure he hadn’t said something incorrectly.

And Pope Francis is brushing aside any attempt at vagueness or needless complexity. There is a devil. Period.

Peace,
Ed

I wish people would stop the labeling. “Conservative Catholics” means nothing. You either listen, understand and obey or you don’t.

I think this article is a good explanation of why “conservative” Catholics are worried. As you say, it’s the perception and reaction by the media/progressive Catholics etc that is the problem.

lifesitenews.com/news/fallout-continues-from-misinterpretations-of-pope-francis-interviews

It’s not the Pope’s “approach”–who cares so much about that?

It’s his statements against the Gospels and Apostles, e.g. “atheists go to Heaven”, and his intent to allow the immoral into the Sacraments without repenting from their immoral behavior, and his suggestion that women should have high authority in the Church, which isn’t a big deal until they have authority over priests.

The Pope’s own statement, “I’ve never been a right winger”, sums up the position that tradition takes a back seat, whereas St. Paul teaches us to carefully teach and pass on the traditions handed on to us.

These things are good reason for Catholics to be offended, in my opinion. I’m not saying that everything the Pope does or teaches or says is wrong, but some of it most definitely is.

I always get a chuckle when people act as if Christianity is supposed to be a comfortable religion. Jesus was a controversial and subversive character - a danger to both the political and religious order of the day - and someone who regularly scared his apostles and disciples.

Being Catholic is not supposed to be comfortable - if it is, you’re probably doing it wrong.

Moreover, Brian, I think you’re taking a great amount of liberty with your interpretation (or misinterpretation) of what the Pope said. Try this: When you are confused by a Bishop’s statement - especially if it is from the Pope - look to interpret it consistently with traditional Church teaching. If you do that, you increase your chance of discerning the message, more-or-less, accurately.

Pax,
OA

Have you been reading the full statements? He didn’t make any such blanket declaration.

and his intent to allow the immoral into the Sacraments without repenting from their immoral behavior,

I can’t find where he said immoral behavior doesn’t have to be repented. Could you provide a link, please?

and his suggestion that women should have high authority in the Church, which isn’t a big deal until they have authority over priests.

Same here, I can’t find where he said women will have authority over priests. Could you tell me where to find that?

The Pope’s own statement, “I’ve never been a right winger”, sums up the position that tradition takes a back seat, whereas St. Paul teaches us to carefully teach and pass on the traditions handed on to us.

You may think that being “a right winger” and respecting tradition are the same thing. That’s your opinion, not Church teaching.

Hmmm, just curious. Has there been a mention of the opposite (a need for repentance in order to accepted back in the church)?

Originally Posted by bsroufek View Post
It’s his statements against the Gospels and Apostles, e.g. “atheists go to Heaven”,

Have you been reading the full statements? He didn’t make any such blanket declaration.

He said it plainly on at least two different occasions and two different threads on this forum
quoted him. Search the Forums.

and his intent to allow the immoral into the Sacraments without repenting from their immoral behavior,

*I can’t find where he said immoral behavior doesn’t have to be repented. Could you provide a link, please?
*

Here:[accepting cohabitating couples] forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=824038

Here:[allowing second marriages] forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=812026

and his suggestion that women should have high authority in the Church, which isn’t a big deal until they have authority over priests.

*Same here, I can’t find where he said women will have authority over priests. Could you tell me where to find that?
*

Two things: this catholic article entitled “POPE FRANCIS: THE CHURCH NEEDS WOMEN IN AUTHORITY” whereas Pope Francis has confirmed the ban on women priests, as cited in this article.

Since there are already women in authority in the Church, such as religious and in parish groups, and since they aren’t to be ordained, as cited above, the Pope is saying that there will be “women in authority” in the Church. This implies [to me] that he may accord authority over authorities in the Church, that is priests and bishops.

The Pope’s own statement, “I’ve never been a right winger”, sums up the position that tradition takes a back seat, whereas St. Paul teaches us to carefully teach and pass on the traditions handed on to us.

You may think that being “a right winger” and respecting tradition are the same thing. That’s your opinion, not Church teaching.

Actually, the very definition of “right wing” (from dictionary/reference.com) means “conservative”/traditional whereas “left wing” means the opposite, that is non-traditional. I’m not just stating an opinion on what these mean.

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