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The Orthodoxy of Pope Francis

The Orthodoxy of Pope Francis September 6, 2021
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[originally written in a slightly shorter version as a disclaimer added to my article, Bad Popes: Replies to a Sincere Inquirer], and posted on Facebook. It received a strong response, so here it is on my blog]
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I do not think Pope Francis is a “bad pope”. As of 9-5-21, I have defended him 201 times, and have collected 283 articles of others doing so. I’ve done the painstaking research, and have yet to discover a single proof that he is a theological liberal or dissident or seriously wrong theologically, let alone a “heretic” or “bad man” etc.
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For whatever reasons (I think there are many, and none of them sustainable), he has been subject to a massive slander and disinformation campaign (much as President Trump was), and people are often ignorant as to the most basic details of any given charge.
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They simply hear some rumor and believe it (jumping on the “bandwagon”). See a typical recent example from a reactionary venue. This is what I’ve found over and over. Most of the accusations are downright absurd, upon close examination. And when I expose them, his critics are almost always unwilling to interact with my defense.
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Readers may be assured that if I believed that Pope Francis was any of these bad things, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to say so (“shouting from the rooftops”), as I have never fled from speaking my mind about anything I felt was important or necessary to say, nor from taking the heat if I must.
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There’s nothing “in this for me.” Sadly, it is an unfashionable position to take these days, and no doubt I have been harmed by it (even financially). But I’m driven and motivated by the seeking of and defense of truth, as opposed to being loved by one and all.
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Catholic apologetics is not a popularity contest. I’ve been publicly called a “modernist” and a “papolater” and “ultramontanist” for defending Pope Francis. These are all desperate and ludicrous lies, too. There have indeed been bad popes, as this article and several other similar ones of mine state, and there is nothing wrong with pointing that out. But we must be accurate and factual. We must not bear false witness (a mortal sin, last time I checked).
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Lastly: my own rock-solid Catholic orthodoxy (joyful acceptance of all that Holy Mother Church teaches as required belief) has never been shown to be deficient. For example, Karl Keating, with whom I have strongly clashed regarding Pope Francis, was gracious enough to write (on 3-23-18):
Dave has produced a lot of good work over the years. He’s one of the better U.S. apologists, and I don’t recall him ever being accused, legitimately, of theological error.
Catholic Answers apologist Tim Staples recommended my blog as “entirely Catholic and in union with the Church” and my views as “relentlessly orthodox.”
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In other words, my defenses of Pope Francis do not flow from any affinity with theological liberalism or heterodoxy, which I have always utterly despised, and have a web page devoted to refuting, as well.
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Related Reading
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Pope Francis On . . . [31 different issues] (Mark Mallett, The Now Word, 4-24-18)

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

Amoris Laetitia – An Apologia for its Orthodoxy (Scott Smith, Reduced Culpability, 1-19-17)

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Summary: Summary as to why the orthodoxy of Pope Francis is so often denied by his many critics, noting my in-depth research into the matter, which has never found proof of this accusation.

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