Am I a “Pope Francis Defender”? (Statement of Intent & Purpose)

Am I a “Pope Francis Defender”? (Statement of Intent & Purpose) November 5, 2019

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Please note once again that — technically — I am not defending whatever happened in this ceremony [regarding the statues and indigenous Amazonian spirituality at the Synod] as perfectly orthodox and hunky dory. What I’m doing is vigorously denying that the critics dead set against it have adequately proven and documented their case that it is definitely blasphemous idolatry.

It’s two different things. The prudent person reserves judgment until all the relevant and necessary facts and proofs are in.

What I definitely do believe is that a lot of hysteria and irrationalism are occurring: among the usual radical reactionary suspects (Lifesite News, Michael Voris, Taylor Marshall, One Peter FiveThe Remnant et al, ad nauseam), and also among an ever-increasing pool of otherwise orthodox Catholics who are either outright anti-Francis or [more and more] suspicious of him as some kind of subversive heretic.

All along, it’s not so much that I have been defending Pope Francis and thinking everything he says and does is absolutely wonderful; (couldn’t be better!) — even though I am routinely considered a “Francis defender”. Rather, I have consistently argued that the accusations made against him have failed to conclusively establish that he has espoused any heresy or radical departure from Catholic moral tradition. Conversely, there is much compelling counter-evidence, I think, that he has not done so.

It’s like being on a jury. If the jury decides not to render a “guilty” verdict, their view is “not guilty” as opposed to “innocent.” It’s not saying that “he definitely did not do this crime, and we are absolutely certain of that.” It’s saying that “we do not have enough evidence and proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, to decide that he is guilty. We think there is enough doubt to not be able in good conscience to render the verdict of guilty.”

The task of the apologist is to determine what are good and bad arguments for any given proposition. I’ve been doing apologetics for now 38 years. And I apply that methodology and attempted objectivity and rationality to Pope Francis, as well as the usual extreme reverence that Catholics ought to always extend to popes and the office of the papacy; also to Holy Mother Church, which is both infallible and indefectible.

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Related Reading:

Replies to Critiques of Pope Francis (Dave Armstrong) [139 of my own articles]

Pope Francis Defended: Resources for Confused or Troubled Folks [373 articles]

Is Pope Francis a Heretic? (+ Part II) (Tim Staples, Catholic Answers blog, October 3-4, 2016)

Documentation: Pope Francis is Orthodox, Pro-Tradition and Against Modernism (Dan Marcum, Catholic Answers Forum, 1-9-15)

The Politically Incorrect Francis—14 Shocking Statements (Paul Kengor, Crisis Magazine, 3-22-19)

Pope Francis On . . . [31 different issues] (Mark Mallett, The Now Word, 4-24-18)

Folks Willing to Understand Pope Francis, Can; Unwilling Won’t [1-18-14]

The Ridiculous “Anti-Francis” Mentality: My Theory in Brief [12-7-15]

On Rebuking Popes & Catholic Obedience to Popes (+ Facebook discussion) [12-27-17]

Negative Reactionary Views of Popes Since 1958 [3-18-18]

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Unfortunately, Money Trees Do Not Exist: If you have been aided in any way by my work, or think it is valuable and worthwhile, please strongly consider financially supporting it (even $10 / month — a mere 33 cents a day — would be very helpful). I have been a full-time Catholic apologist since Dec. 2001, and have been writing Christian apologetics since 1981 (see my Resume). My work has been proven (by God’s grace alone) to be fruitful, in terms of changing lives (see the tangible evidences from unsolicited “testimonies”). I have to pay my bills like all of you: and have a (homeschooling) wife and three children still at home to provide for, and a mortgage to pay.

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My book royalties from three bestsellers in the field (published in 2003-2007) have been decreasing, as has my overall income, making it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.  I provide over 2600 free articles here, for the purpose of your edification and education, and have written 50 books. It’ll literally be a struggle to survive financially until Dec. 2020, when both my wife and I will be receiving Social Security. If you cannot contribute, I ask for your prayers. Thanks! See my information on how to donate (including 100% tax-deductible donations). It’s very simple to contribute to my apostolate via PayPal, if a tax deduction is not needed (my “business name” there is called “Catholic Used Book Service,” from my old bookselling days 17 or so years ago, but send to my email: apologistdave@gmail.com). Another easy way to send and receive money (with a bank account or a mobile phone) is through Zelle. Again, just send to my e-mail address. May God abundantly bless you.

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