(RepublicanDaily.org) – Pope Francis has voiced his apprehension and concern over some elements of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, calling their attitudes “backward,” saying that they have replaced faith and true Catholic tradition with ideology.
The pope made the remarks during a recent meeting with several of his fellow Jesuits. One Portuguese Jesuit recalled to Francis a recent sabbatical he made in the U.S. where he met many members of the Catholic Church, including bishops, who had a very poor view of the direction the Church was going under Francis’ papacy, and who viewed the Jesuit order in pretty much the same light. A transcript of the conversation was published by Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica, which is vetted by secretariat of state of the Vatican.
Francis, who succeeded Pope Benedict XVI after the latter’s resignation in 2013, has often been criticized by the more conservative members of the Catholic clergy and laity. They have taken issue with the current Pope’s more progressive views on major issues, such as the environment and economic and social justice. He has also taken flak for what many feel to be a friendlier and more conciliatory attitude toward members of the LGBTQ+ community and the issues they face.
The Pope expressed concern over the “very strong, organized, reactionary attitude” of a lot of members of the Catholic Church in the U.S., which he said was a symptom of these people clinging to ideology. He said parishioners fail to understand the “correct evolution” in understanding when approaching questions of faith and morals. Francis also said that the “vision of the doctrine of the church as a monolith is wrong,” because it disconnects one from the Church’s roots, and in turn has a damaging effect on societal morals.
Frank Pavone, the national director for “Priests for Life,” an anti-abortion organization, reacted to the Pope’s comments, telling news outlet Newsweek that the current Vicar of Christ simply does not understand how America works and how Americans are. Pavone, a former priest who was laicized, said that the Pope’s remarks were “judgmental,” adding that American Catholics in general have a great respect for the papacy but don’t feel don’t feel very affirmed” by the Pope himself.
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