The "Liberal" Pope Francis

"**Conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church had previously accused the pope of not speaking out forcefully enough against abortion.

While showing no signs of changing the Church’s position against abortion, Francis has not spoken out against it as sternly or as repeatedly as his predecessors Pope Benedict XVI and the late John Paul II since his election in March**."

This article posits two claims: that there is a divide between Conservatives and the Pope (“Conservatives…have accused”) and that the current Pope has a different relationship to Church tradition, even slightly (“showing no signs of [change]…Francis has not spoken out…as his predecessors”)

I’m not a Catholic, but am I correct in assuming that this is all media hogwash? As far as I’m aware the Pope is no different than the previous one in terms of doctrine. The only real difference is that he’s a Jesuit and his humility has been more widely publicized.

I really don’t buy into the whole “Mainstream media’s leftist agenda” conspiracy, but it is really annoying when they try to suggest Pope Francis is the liberal all liberals have been waiting for, or a bane to conservative existence. But maybe asking for an accurate portrayal of any religion that isn’t ratings driven is asking for too much?

I admit I am socially “left” on many issues, but I am interested in the Pope’s maintaining doctrine: the Catholic Church’s rigid position on abortion and gay marriage continue to represent powerful testimony to the force of faith. It’s pretty impressive when an institution almost 1900 years old is still wielding sizable influence in the “postmodern” world.

[quote=Mirza19;11596463*am I correct in assuming that this is all media hogwash


Pretty much, yes :smiley:

Where’s LivingWordUnity when we need him? (a member here who is on a one-man crusade to prove Pope Francis is no liberal - check his posts on this topic in the social justice sub-forum here).

The article I read today had him saying some extremely negative things about abortion, so I don’t buy it.

Of course it’s hogwash. Pope Francis is also very concerned with the events going on in Malta reguarding possible legislation allowing gay couples to adopt yet I’m not seeing this in the media. Imagine this, in Malta, one of the most Catholic countries!

The secular media are masters of propaganda. They are trying to build lie on top of lie. The first lie is that Pope Francis is a liberal (see proof that Pope Francis is orthodox). And the lie that is getting stacked on top of that one is that Catholic conservatives all believe this and are having doubts about their faith because of it. The secular media would love it if this could be true because it would mean that the Church would be emptied of all the devout who all would leave the Church because of a big misunderstanding (the lie).

One of the ways the spin-masters are doing this is to conflate the opinion of a Protestant conservative with all conservatives so that it is implied that it includes Catholic conservatives. This is like lumping Eastern Orthodox in with Eastern Catholics to make Eastern Catholics look as if Eastern Catholics aren’t really in communion with Rome.

I’m sure that there might be some Catholic conservatives who are experiencing some doubts because of the caricature of our Pope in the media. But, I think most Catholic conservatives are still loyal to the Pope, even if they are experiencing doubts. Although it’s possible that with enough false news stories that suggest that Pope Francis is liberal it could eventually cause doubt in even some of the most conservatively faithful Catholics.

But if a Catholic conservative were to ever stop being loyal to our Pope they would also stop being a Catholic and leave it for another religion or for none at all. That’s because conservatives tend to think logically. And, logically, it would make no sense to be a Catholic and conservative and not be loyal to the Pope. It’s all or none for us conservatives when it comes to our faith that our Church was founded by Jesus Christ and that Jesus is God. And, speaking for myself as a Catholic conservative, I will die a Catholic.

Here I am. Thanks for the compliment. :slight_smile:

Correction to my post before this one:


He just came out strongly today against abortion! Follow the Pope on the web, not media reports !

When Francis was reported as saying that catholics should not insist only on issues such as abortion and gay ‘marriage’, the media overlooked the operative word “INSIST”.

When I saw what he was saying, all I could think was… Francis is doubling down. :eek:
He is demanding MORE, not less.

To me it seems the new pope is challenging us to insist on an *even wider range *of social/political/moral issues - all of which pertain to God’s moral authority and God’s concern for the welfare of the human family.

I know some people who treat politics as a religion…being liberal or conservative is sort of a religion…

Pope francis or the catholic church is neither conservative nor liberal…IT stands on its own…with its own teaching, its own truths and doctrines …so I don’t like it when media tries to categoriza a pope as liberal or conservative…

The Pope has spoken out against progressivism and reaffirmed the Church stance on abortion and marriage. :yup:

People need to stop assigning Western political labels haphazardly on Popes and putting words in their mouths! :yup:

And yes, Western journalism has been failing in its duties for political reasons :sad_yes:


Well, he’s not alone.

How many times do I have to say don’t politically label the Pope!

Just before Pope Francis said, “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?”

He said this:

“I believe that when you are dealing with such a person [a homosexual], you must distinguish between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of someone forming a lobby, because not all lobbies are good. This one [the gay lobby] is not good.” - Pope Francis (Google Translate with my comments in brackets)

livingwordunity, I hadn’t thought before that the media would intentionally inflate all conservatives; or use Protestant conservative opinion in place of Catholic.

I am aware there are selective approaches to the Pope’s comments. I have even had rather liberal friends try to convince me that this Pope is “significantly” different. It’s really annoying as a student of religion to have to correct people who want to hope so badly that this Pope is going to radically change social doctrine.

I suppose I should have made this thread more of a poll, since most of the responses I’m seeing are affirmations of my own hunch.

Has anyone had to inform friends that this isn’t true?

I saw a number of people, including people involved in professional interfaith organizations and chaplain’s offices, post this in excited support.

I think it’s really upsetting when we’re so quick to validate ecumenicism and interfaith that we reject the internal, cultural logic of distinct (and, for the most part, theologically exclusive) religions in favor of some incoherent, “everybody is equally right” philosophy. I’m thinking Pope Francis is becoming one of the symbols of such movements in the West without people realizing he isn’t so “left.”

[Aside: I agree with the poster who criticized my labeling the Pope according to Western political divisions. I agree they are unfair to religious systems. I mostly used “liberal” in the title because it seems to succinctly describe the claims or hopes of current, popular media discourse in the USA]

Yes, that you are also a bastion of conservatism and orthodoxy has not gone unnoticed.

Putting aside the bias of the media and political labels, I think we can all agree that Pope Francis is a most liberal example of the love of Christ in both word and deed, not in a stingy, conservative, self-seeking manner, but liberally manifesting God’s love, especially to the most vulnerable and those most in need of God’s mercy. :slight_smile:

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