The New York Times reports on conservative American Catholics who are quite upset with Pope Francis and his decidedly more liberal views (at least within the context of the church). As he clearly tries to push the church away from a focus on gays and abortion and toward an ethos of helping the less fortunate, the theo-cons are displeased.
They were shocked when they saw that Francis said in the interview that “the most serious of the evils” today are “youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old.” It compounded the chagrin after he said in an earlier interview that he had intentionally “not spoken much” about abortion, same-sex marriage or contraception because the church could not be “obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines.”
Steve Skojec, the vice president of a real estate firm in Virginia and a blogger who has written for several conservative Catholic websites, wrote of Francis’ statements: “Are they explicitly heretical? No. Are they dangerously close? Absolutely. What kind of a Christian tells an atheist he has no intention to convert him? That alone should disturb Catholics everywhere.”
In an interview on Friday, Mr. Skojec said he was overwhelmed by the positive response to his blog from people who said they were thinking the same things but had not wanted to say them in public. He said he had come to suspect that Francis is a “self-styled revolutionary” who wants to change the church fundamentally.
“There have been bad popes in the history of the church,” Mr. Skojec said. “Popes that murdered, popes that had mistresses. I’m not saying Pope Francis is terrible, but there’s no divine protection that keeps him from being the type of guy who with subtlety undermines the teachings of the church to bring about a different vision.”
If there’s one thing the Catholic Church needs, it’s a different vision. I’m obviously never going to agree with a pope, any pope, about all that much. But I find Francis refreshing, especially after the ghoulish and repressive Pope Palpatine. This is obviously a man who has been influenced by liberation theology, which has always been a much more palatable version of Catholicism than the authoritarian version favored by Ratzinger and his stooges.