ROME — So far, Pope Francis’ most significant internal opposition has come from conservative Catholics alarmed over what they see as playing fast-and-loose with Catholic doctrine. This week, however, an all-star lineup of conservatives gathered in Rome has come to the pope’s defense.
“I am a conservative politically,” said Princeton University law professor Robert P. George, considered one of America’s most prominent Catholic commentators. “But I’m a Pope Francis Catholic, which is simply to say that I’m a Catholic.”
Harvard law professor and former US Ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon echoed the point.
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, usually recognized as a strong conservative leader who also attended the Rome conference, told Crux that the problem isn’t the pope, but those interpreting him.
“It’s misinterpretation, but there’s also baiting by people on the other side,” he said.
According to Chaput, who will host the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next September with Pope Francis in attendance, one side of the ideological spectrum is accusing the other of not loving the pope enough.
“They want to make it a problem,” he said.