Conservatives defend Pope Francis

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.

It is the news media and their ability to misrepresent Pope Francis by picking and choosing certain phrases out of context that is causing the commotion. There are many who would love to see the Catholic church fall and the antichrist come to power. The spirit of antichrist is already at work in the sons of disobedience.

The media drums up all kinds of stuff, ebola fears, Ferguson, MO, etc. They are no longer in the business of telling it like it is but rather getting views of sensational stories which drive advertising revenue which brings them cash.

Yes , I can see myself along the lines of those thinking other people do not love the Pope that much , and I realize it is unfair. Not that there is an intention of it a a bait.
Maybe cause I would like to see part of the Catholic family consider he may not be perfect , but he is what the Holy Spirit inspired as the Pope the Church needed today.
My mea culpa , yes , I have always admired him as a bishop and he is really lovable for me.
Thank you Gillam , I will try and be careful not to make this mistake of thinking he is less loved.

It would be nice if the pope would clarify his statements. It would alleviate a lot of confusion, and allow his fellow bishops to more effectively implement the vision of his papacy.

Papa Francis is exactly what our Church needed. St. JPII was a rock star who brought the papacy into the modern world, Pope Emeritus Benedict is a brilliant theologian and Papa Francis is a true pastor and a JESUIT (an enormous plus in my old eyes).:wink:

I am baffled by this. Hasn’t the Pope spoken against capitalism, libertarianism, and a few other things conservatives hold dear?

I really agree with what you say. There is too much confusion going on.

Archbishop Chaput states, “they want to make it a problem”. Who are THEY? And, WHY do they want to create problems for he church? These are critical questions, and they need to be seriously examined. Otherwise, we are all blindly reacting on impulse to manufactured stimuli. In fact, a more cogent question might be, “are we being divided deliberately, and maliciously?”

Perhaps, this chasm that seemingly has grown through the middle of our religion, is a construct, or worse, a premeditated attack on the church. We must be circumspect…and vigilant.

A house divided falls. If “they” can cause the Church to officially split in two, it will be weakened considerably.

Personally, I don’t know why “they” would bother, since “they” have already succeeded in keeping Catholics battling each other.


According to the next paragraphs,my understanding is those who intentionally use his teachings ideologically to in turn accuse those who are not " with " the pope for being unloving. He mentions " bait" ,my understanding is deliberate and ideological purpose,not reading through the Gospel vision. IMHO.

I answered at the same time,Lormar.
Yes,division as you say.This is all about Divide and you will reign,for me too.


Only if you believe the translators:( at the Vatican Press Office and the secular media. BTW, my friends call me a conservative but I don’t hold political or religious libertarianism dear.:wink:

Being politically conservative and religiously conservative are not the same thing. For example, a conservative Catholic can be socially conservative whilst being economically progressive. Similarly, a conservative Catholic can value immigration, have progressive views on creative solutions to educational problems but want to celebrate the old mass.

It’s misleading to equate political conservatism with conservative religion.

That’s a big part of the problem, true.

But when you feel constantly attacked or provoked, it seems sooner or later you will fight back. To be fair, though, I suppose the more progressives could have used that same argument when JPII and Benedict were still Popes.

Princeton and Harvard, huh?

Why not say something like “I’m a Catholic, no matter who’s Pope” ?

Doesn’t it occur to these people that Pope Francis will not be Pope forever? It’s not like a Pope has never resigned suddenly.

That is a very sharp observation. There seems to be a tendency to frame Pope Francis’ papacy within the same tired dialectics which (unfortunately) mark the polarizing reporting caused by American-style political extremism. Moderation no longer has a place at the table.

Pope Francis has an honest approach that seems to confound the pundits and spinmeisters. They simply are not used to dealing with someone who has no guile. He is genuine in all that he says and does.

If find that even here on CAF. In the family section regarding things like contraception, homosexual marriage, parental authority, Ephesians 5:21-32, modesty, marital chastity, the value of SAHMs etc… I’m often attacked as a conservative. Here in News and in Social Justice, I’m attacked as progressive. I kinda like that because Pope St JPII defied definition in that way too. I have some progessive relatives who couldn’t stand JPII and think his canonisation is a mistake… yet there is a traditionalist site that sometimes googling issues takes you too that can’t stand JPII for being a heretical progressive.

That’s what happens when a Pope excommunicates your traditionalist leaders. Just sayin…

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