Why are there mutterings of discontent within the Catholic clergy towards our Pope?

Not all priests are happy. Our Fr is not happy sometimes. He mentioned recently not to believe there is no hell.

I for one do believe in hell and always have done. That’s just one example.

Can you cite an instance where the Pope said that there is no Hell?


No the Italian press was responsible. Our priest says sometimes he’s unhappy with changes given down by the Vatican and the Pope is the head.

Then ask your priest.


The elderly Italian atheist journalist-friend who takes no notes that the Pope has (imprudently after the first time) granted interviews to quoted the Pope saying he believes in annihilationism.

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Maybe it’s just that the Pope speaks “off the cuff” so much and many think what he says is Church doctrine but it’s only his opinion. Maybe , through no one’s fault, a lot of what he says is misunderstood and skewed by so many. Maybe It’s because of all of this there is CONFUSION in what he says and that leads to some straying.


And maybe too that what people report as ‘mutterings’ from their clergy aren’t really mutterings. I try not to be cynical but honestly, it seems like you can go on virtually every thread lately and there is always somebody trying to foment discontent, argue, use ‘innuendo’ and just flat out keep people in a constant state of argument.

I’m tired of it.



Even if the Holy Father has indeed espoused such an opinion, it remains only an opinion, not Church teaching. Annihilationism was certainly not taught by Vatican II. I think your priest’s misgivings are misplaced.


I know about a dozen priests at our three closest parishes, and I’ve never heard any of them, be they more conservative or more progressive, ever say anything derogatory or express discontent about Pope Francis.

That said, St. Benedict warned about “grumbling” among the members of his abbeys, so it’s been an issue in the Church for centuries. Someone’s always going to be upset about something. I remember not that long ago, some people and clergy were discontent with Pope Benedict XVI, and called him things like “Rottweiler,” because of his years of work as head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith.


Always thought that it was weird, people say the pope doesn’t believe in hell, but the pope told the mafia that they need to repent or they’ll end up in hell, so which is it? Anytime the mainstream media reports on the Pope, I have a habit of actually checking the sources myself, I can read a little bit of Italian, so I think that’s helpful in these situations.


I’ve never heard Pope Francis claim there is no hell. In fact, he speaks quite strongly and openly about hell and Satan.

Now the superior general of the Jesuits, on the other hand…


The Holy Father has unfortunately caused some of his own problems with regard to clerical discontent. He has chosen to use the classic Jesuit “somewhat unclear” response style in situations where such a response style is completely unacceptable. He is no longer a simple Jesuit priest. He is the pope.

The two major things that I can think of that he has done that have been very sad and unfortunate are:

  • Permitting pastoral discretion with regard to giving the Eucharist to legally divorced and remarried individuals who have not had their “first marriage” found to be invalid.

  • The deal with the People’s Republic of China. He really ought to have known better than to make such a deal. I don’t blame many Chinese Catholics for feeling forsaken by the Pope. Assuming good faith is something that I am known to support very much, but that assumption is supposed to be an initial thing (although if someone seems to be turning over a new leaf, one really ought to give them another chance). An assumption of good faith by someone who is making gigantic decisions is dangerous if the person that the assumption is being made of is showing in giant neon lights that they are acting in bad faith.

On the other hand, I admire Pope Francis’ humility, and his desire to connect with the laity. I also am very thankful for the change that he made to the Catechism regarding the death penalty. He is very right when he said that the death penalty is something that we need to work to abolish worldwide.

In truth, much of the problem is that we were spoilt by the fact that our past two popes were very amazing individuals who truly were both meek as doves as well as wise as serpents. So when Pope Francis became pope, there were very big shoes that he needed to fill. And, to be quite frank, thus far he has unfortunately not filled them fully.

To put it simply: Pope Francis would have made a better pope if we were in a different time period. The environment that we live in nowadays requires a very, very different approach than the one that Holy Father is currently taking.

So, given his approach to the papacy, can you really be surprised that many clerics are discontented? I certainly am not.


Some clergy dislike the theology of some popes. That is the nature of the Church. I think this papacy is as divisive as global politics right now. And there is nothing wrong with that. The last Pope had detractors, as does this one, as will the next one. I certainly dont agree with the politics of the current papacy and some of the theology. I still love my faith and trust in my Church. I would imagine many good priests and bishops feel the same.


The Pope is the Pope. Does the mutterings of discontent by some Catholic clergy towards the Pope actually matter? Most likely not.

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Do you believe the Pope can be wrong?

I don’t know. Maybe God should send snakes to bite them.

(Number’s 21:6)

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I think we should just pray that the papacy is guided in a holy manner and that God will, in the long term, prevail. Be that in the current papacy or the next.


See, one throws a thread like this : “ some clergy are…” which is like throwing vapor, nothing but a piece of meat to see who bites.
Then as Genesis wrote it boils down to what Mr Scalfari wrote after what he understood without taking notes…
“ Some clergy…” yes, there will probably always be.
But let me also tell you something: in all my life I am not used to “ some clergy” opining publicly about a Pope. Whether they liked them or found them appropriate or whatever, all that came down was love, respect and the message handed down to us.
And I will be very frank as well. He has a whole history of handing down what previous Popes have said and written. Obediently and lovingly. It isn t like he has come down a cloud out of nowhere.
And as usual we have been handed down the messages from the Popes to our Archbiships, Bishops and priests.
Much of what sounds pearl clutching and criticisms and oh that isn t doctrinal, one finds oneself scratching our head and wondering if people really believe he doesn t know it. It is so basic, so elemental, so 101 that one ends up thinking some people must think he is plain ignorant.
Well, he isn t. And there are tons and tons of homilies and documents that people just won t bother to read. Just news as snippets.
So yes, I ll give my opinion: He is Catholic. He is a son of the Church. He is a sinner who has been looked upon by God mercifully.
And he doesn t need to prove it to anyone.And has been chosen our Pope not that he was looking for it. As he is…
And just like the other Popes he left his place not to return again, out of love .
Take care Pope Francis, thank you for your service and may Mary hold you tight beneath Her mantle always.
That is all, for me…


God led the Israelites for 40 years in the desert. They often grumbled against Moses and against God. If that experience was not enough to stop the grumbling, I cannot imagine it stopping today.

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It’s hardly the first time the Papacy has cut a deal with a nation to give the government some say in the naming of bishops (think to the Concordat of 1801 between Napoleon and Rome). Now it is pretty unique in the West to have a non-Catholic government in any way involved in the appointment of bishops, but it’s somewhat more familiar in Orthodoxy, where at least the senior-most Church officials had to have at least some approval by the Muslim rulers. And the deal, so far as I understand it, still gives the Pope the right to veto Beijing’s recommendation. It isn’t a perfect deal, but if there’s any hope of normalizing relations between the Vatican and China, and not having Beijing feel that every Chinese Catholic is a potential fifth columnist, it’s probably the best deal to be had.

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