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Pope Francis is unsettling – and dividing – the Catholic right

Pope Francis addresses journalists on his flight from Rio de Janeiro to Rome July 29. The pope spent 80 minutes answering questions from 21 journalists on the plane. Photo by Paul Haring/Catholic News Service

(RNS) For more than three decades, the Vatican of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI operated on a version of the conservative maxim, “No enemies to the right.”

While left-wing theologians were silenced and liberal-to-moderate bishops were shunted aside in favor of hard-liners, liturgical traditionalists and cultural conservatives were diligently courted and given direct access to the apostolic palace.

Pope Francis addresses journalists on his flight from Rio de Janeiro to Rome July 29. The pope spent 80 minutes answering questions from 21 journalists on the plane. Photo by Paul Haring/Catholic News Service

Pope Francis addresses journalists on his flight from Rio de Janeiro to Rome July 29. The pope spent 80 minutes answering questions from 21 journalists on the plane. Photo by Paul Haring/Catholic News Service

But in a few short months, Pope Francis has upended that dynamic, alienating many on the Catholic right by refusing to play favorites and ignoring their preferred agenda items even as he stressed the kind of social justice issues that are near and dear to progressives.

“I’ve personally found many aspects of this papacy to be annoying, and struggled against that feeling from the beginning. I’m hardly alone in this,” Jeffrey Tucker, editor of the New Liturgical Movement blog, wrote as Francis basked in the glow of media coverage of his recent trip to Brazil.

“Every day and in every way we are being told how glorious it is that the bad old days are gone and the new good days are here,” he lamented.

Tucker and other traditionalists who are dedicated to high church rituals have been especially miffed at Francis’ simple — they might say simplistic — style since the moment the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was introduced to the world as the new pope back in March.

“How can I love a Pope who doesn’t even want to be Pope?” Katrina Fernandez, a popular conservative blogger, wrote in a column about her disillusionment.

Since Francis’ election, the anxiety on the right has only mounted as he has continued to model a radically different pontificate — preaching about the evils of the globalized economy while repeatedly reminding his followers to care for the poor and marginalized.

Indeed, he barely mentioned abortion directly or even gay rights until he was asked about gay priests during an impromptu press conference on the flight back from Brazil and, in a line heard round the world, he said, “Who am I to judge?”

Catholics on “the right wing of the church,” Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said on the eve of the Brazil trip, “have not been really happy about (Francis’) election.” Chaput, a vocal conservative in the U.S. hierarchy, told the National Catholic Reporter that Francis “will have to care for them, too, so it will be interesting to see how all this works out in the long run.”

In fact, the risks for Francis in disappointing Catholic conservatives are high given their disproportionate presence in the pews and in the upper echelons of the church.

“They have loyally supported the church with donations and activism and can be expected to oppose any change in direction of the sort Francis has signaled,” Michael D’Antonio, author of a book on the clergy abuse scandals, wrote in a Foreign Policy magazine essay that asked, “Is Francis too radical for his flock?”

“But this constituency cannot sustain the church in the long term,” D’Antonio said, “and the church now needs a figure able to bridge the gap between its rightward movement and the reality that Westerners are leaving the church in droves. That problem requires a wily pope with the skill and charisma to pull off the high-wire balancing act of unifying these two disparate impulses.”

Not everyone on the right, however, is willing to concede that their influence may be on the wane or even that Francis is really any different than Benedict.

Instead, many are advancing detailed arguments that they say show Francis doesn’t actually mean what the media and public think he means, adding that the pope’s honeymoon will get a cold shower when liberals see that Francis is just as orthodox as his predecessors.

Some even think, as writer Elizabeth Scalia explained in the conservative journal First Things, that Francis may be manipulating journalists in order to insinuate traditional Catholic teaching into mainstream press reports.

“Unlike Pope Benedict XVI, who was already despised by the press as Cardinal Ratzinger, Francis is the surprising, not-quite-known entity with whom the press is still unfamiliar and thus only marginally prepared to counter,” said Scalia, who compared the pope’s tactics to those of the ancient Chinese military manual, “The Art of War.”

Others, like EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo in the National Catholic Register, are recycling a narrative from the latter days of Benedict’s troubled papacy and pointing the finger of blame at Francis’ aides, saying that “as much as they distance the pontiff from his people, handlers can protect the pope from this sort of misinterpretation.”

But other Catholic conservatives say these read more like excuses than explanations. The handwriting is on the wall, they say — which might not be such a bad thing for a Catholic right that was so accustomed to preferential treatment that they often identified the pope with the church itself.

“To the extent that conservative Catholics in the United States find themselves actively disagreeing with Pope Francis’s emphases … it might help cure them/us of the recurring Catholic temptation toward papolatry,” wrote New York Times columnist Ross Douthat.

“The papal office has been occupied by many more incompetents than geniuses,” he concluded, “and there’s a reason why so few occupants of the chair of Peter show up in the litany of the saints.”

About the author

David Gibson

David Gibson is a national reporter for RNS and an award-winning religion journalist, author and filmmaker. He has written several books on Catholic topics. His latest book is on biblical artifacts: "Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery," which was also the basis of a popular CNN series.


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  • Very insightful analysis. Thanks especially for the links to Tucker and Fernandez.

    Their struggles seem familiar — the exact opposite of, and so almost identical to (mirror image) what I’ve felt for about forty years now.

  • “…for a Catholic right that was so accustomed to preferential treatment.”

    With all due respect, Mr Gibson, kindly tell me what planet you are from? Doing little to nothing about sodomites in the priesthood, ignoring the most egregious liturgical abuses imaginable, caving in to every whim of the Modernist faction, tolerating execrable Bishops and Cardinals like Mahony, Wuerl, Weakland, etc., ignoring the respectful pleas of thousands to stop the madness…that is what you call John Paul II and Benedict giving preferential treatment to Catholics who are clinging to their ancestral Faith??

    Surely, sir, you have not been paying attention.

  • Wow! Thanks for helping me understand the enormity of the challenge facing Pope Francis.

    That there might be those who think the basic problem in the Church is that Popes John Paul and Benedict were too far to the left, this has occurred to me as a theoretical possibility. That you are real, though, like I said, Wow!

  • This provides yet another model example of journalistic ignorance on the Catholic Church.

    The “conservatives” mentioned here are NOT traditional Catholics, but NeoCatholics. NeoCatholics are fully on board with the Hippie Council, aka the Judas Council, aka the Second Vatican Council of 1962-65. Like avowed liberals, these counterfeit conservatives are fully on board with the revolution of Vatican II. Like liberals, they love Vatican II. An essential difference is that they posit a thoroughly absurd and desperate “hermeneutic of continuity” and “reform of the reform” which attempts the impossible, that is, to reconcile the errors and novelties of this Judas Council and its poisonous fruits with the perennial doctrine and tradition of the Church.

    Much more could be said. In the External Links section of the Neo-Catholicism entry on Wikipedia, I’ve provided various articles saying it.

    Genuine traditionalists – for example, those of the SSPX – have been mercilessly and unjustly shunned by hierarchy since Vatican II.

  • Right on Aged Parent. Recent Popes have demonstrated the incompetence that Douthat mentions. Francis’ use of the word “gay” was really dumb…just plain stupid. And he does indeed, as do we all, have the right to judge the actions of others. But who are we to expect our Popes to be media savvy or even to understand how to teach sexual morality effectively. What we do rightly expect is that they are not wrong when they teach as head of Christ’s Church. Otherwise, get used to lots of really dumb moves…along with a few smart ones now and then.

  • >> “But this constituency cannot sustain the church in the long term,” D’Antonio said, “and the church now needs a figure able to bridge the gap between its rightward movement and the reality that Westerners are leaving the church in droves. That problem requires a wily pope with the skill and charisma to pull off the high-wire balancing act of unifying these two disparate impulses.” <<

    What a remarkable statement. No comprehension whatsoever that people are driven away by rigid orthodoxy and that recovery for the mainstream church (which certainly includes, but is not limited to, non-fundamentalist Roman Catholicism) may depend on openness, inclusivity and welcome.

  • The Church is not in a popularity contest. Neither is She a social club or a social welfare organization. She is the pillar and bulwark of Truth whose duty it is to save souls.

    Truth by it’s very nature is rigid, not pliable but unchangeable for all time.

    All sinners are welcome in the one Church. She is open to all. What you (and liberals in general) seem to intend by “openness, inclusivity, and welcome” is for the Church to applaud sinners in their sin, or at least turn a blind eye to it.

    When the Church engages in such foolishness, and She unfortunately does way too often, She fails in her Divinely appointed duty.

  • Francis is a Jesuit, an experienced prelate, highly educated and adept at confrontation. He means what he says even when he couches his comments in Vatican II double-speak. He is a modernist and a shameless exhibitionist. He is dangerous. God help us.

  • So the fact remains that nobody REALLY knows what the current Pope really believes or doesn’t believe on key issues. When it comes to the world economy and helping the poor, Francis preaches with the clarity and passion of a Jeremiah. No interpreters needed.

    But when it comes to answering the question of gay priests, Francis starts using code words and phrases straight out of the gay activists’ media playbook. Every Catholic defender from Cardinal Dolan on down is subsequently forced to “parse” and “interpret” and “explain” the apparent Papal ambiguity.

    The papal compassion is still there–and welcome–but the clarity is painfully absent, and the gay activists celebrate that situation.

  • Doc Anthony, Dolan isn’t parsing, he’s spinning. The unspun Francis is pretty darn clear. Just doesn’t seem all that ambiguous. From the comments accumulating here, it’s pretty clear that a lot of people aren’t particularly happy about that. Cardinal Dolan seems not particular happy; he seems not so much a defender of the Catholic thing, as he is a defender of his particular slice of the Catholic thing.

    My initial response to this article was that Mr. Gibson was really on to something. Reading the comments leads me to think that he hit the nail on the head.

  • I don’t know who the author is, nor have I heard of this site before. I can see what he’s doing with my own eyes.

    What you should be more concerned about is that he is the last Pope. The Rock.

  • God help “us”? Who is us?
    Pope Francis is reaching to help those most in need, spiritually and physically. Like JP II and St Paul, he is seeking too to bring the Gospel to the world, the people. The only “us” that should be worried are Protestants. Perhaps that is whom you represent? If so, I mean no offense, only that Pope Francis will reach many people and strengthen Catholicism.

  • Book of Proverbs – “Open thy mouth and judge rightly”

    Francis is “Mr. Congeniality” and his desire to be popular will be his undoing.
    I think we have elected a bad Pope. Maybe the first and last Jesuit.

    When gay activist celebrate you know something has gone WRONG!

  • Everyone should be celebrating – the Lords words: – I put over you who I put over you – “we” had nothing to do with it……

  • You are right the Church is not a popularity contest, as the Catchechism teaches the Church is the People of God.

    Truth is of course rigid but also unknown. We have the word of God but it does not in detail dictate how to respond in all circumstances thus we must continue to search how best to live a Christ like life.

    Your comments seem to show a need for a little more humility at knowing the mind of our lord.

    As for your comemtns about social welfare the early bishops and popes would disagree as they refered to the widows, orphans and the poor as the crown jewels of the church.

  • These pathetic conservatives do not read the Gospel; instead they know Augustine, Aquinas, Ratzinger… What a pity!!!
    Ignore these traditionalist are in a fog of their incense … And they may choke in their bells and whistles high liturgical spectacle.
    Poor Traditionalist…. What a way to live ….

  • I am a neophyte Catholic. I came into the Church at the Easter Vigil in 2012. I am passionate about the role the Mystical Body of Christ is to play in the world.

    That role is not to serve me – conservative or liberal.

    That role is to “. . . proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,”

    Much to the chagrin of many conservatives (particularly their more right wing reactionary American versions), Pope Francis has been doing precisely that.

    Christ wasn’t as big on casting out sinners as they’d like. And he had a penchant for loving and embracing the outcasts. He spoke particularly of our obligation to “the least of these” – placing particular emphasis on the Poor.

    So, now . . . FINALLY . . . and praise the Lord Jesus Christ for making it so . . . the Catholic Church has officially allied herself with the gospel message of our Lord.

    I had prayed for this; prayed so hard as the cardinals gathered to select a new pope. I had prayed particularly to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would touch the hearts of the cardinals and give us a pope in the tradition of Blessed John XXIII.

    I thank God for Pope Francis. I pray he lives for decades to come. I pray his work is prospered Our Lady and Our Lord.

    As to those who disagree, I pray their indulgence for a time. Give this pope time. He shall likely land at or near the center as regards those issues which are most important to you. Doubtless, he shall be solidly pro-life (how could he NOT be?). And, though he may disappoint you as regards GLBT issues, you may be pleased with the pastoral outcomes, even with the personal outcomes that follow upon the embrace of the Church of Christ.

    Blessings to all.

    In Jesus & Mary,


  • Wow, you folks really should talk to people with different viewpoints, Papa Francisco is embracing the heart of Jesus teachings with vigor and boldness and you people would have the mass in Latin once more, or the stilted English foisted on us by Benedict, who has no poetry in his heart for all his love and erudition. Seems to me (and many others) that Papa Francisco is stressing humility. Give it a try. Its a way of life. The one your Lord asks of you.

  • There are many people who are against anything that they feel will take their privileges away, or upset their powers. Jesus called them “white tombs” (modern) and they have not changed in two millenia.

  • Dangerous to whom? Who will simplicity rob of power except the people who never use it in their own lives?

  • Perhaps you should go back and reread the Gospels. Again and again, Jesus chooses the marginalized, the women, the lepers, the tax collectors (read this: “sinners”), the Samaritans (non-jews who Jew’s didn’t associate with). It seems he was a paramount social-worker (welfare organization type), deeply concerned with the needs of the poor and the sinner. Jesus himself asked the woman being stoned “has no one condemned you? Then neither do I”. I think you are confusing dogma with Christ-centered behavior. Incidentally, I’m not sure what you think about our church is “Divinely appointed duty”, it seems it was a group of followers doing their best to remember their Christ and pass on his message. Not a big organization with dogma and “rigid, unchangeable nature”. That was never in the Gospels.

  • 1 John 4:18
    There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

  • I’m shocked that anyone would consider JPII “conservative” at all….I agree with aged: on what planet do traditionalists get “preferential treatment”? We’ve been treated like the crazy aunt who’s locked up in the attic for 50 years

  • I’m really speechless & disgusted. The Church has a Pope who is what every human being should emulate and he’s being called annoying and divisive. Unbelievable. There are many people out there who need to study the Gospels & remember who Jesus took pity on.

  • It was the Traditionalists (Pharisees) who were afraid of Jesus message of love and mercy; They could see they would lose their “righteousness’; (a false sense of knowing the mind of God;) and their power to condemn (look down on others). JESUS WASN’T AFRAID TO TELL THEM THEY NEEDED TO CHANGE. So, they killed him.

  • Faith is not some liberal or conservative philosophy. It’s how you live your life. All of us are sinners, each in our own individual way. The extent of our sin probably can be measured by how much we take seriously and worship the god of Self. I think when we go before God in judgment, he’ll judge us by weighing how much we reached out to others & gave them vs. how much we venerated ourselves. Francis is teaching by example that faith is something we must live. Thank God for him

  • Cardinal Mario Luigi Ciappi, Theologian to three recent popes, who read the 3rd Secret of Fatima writes to Professor Baumbartner, that in the 3rd Secret of Fatima (which has not been totally revealed), that “among other things” (also not revealed), that the “great apostasy in the Church will begin at the TOP”.

    And to Seminary Professor, personal friend of then HHPJPII and Cardinal Ratizinger, Father Bollinger, in 2000, after concelebrating a Mass with then Cardinal Ratzinger, was told by Cardinal Ratzinger that in the Third Message of Fatima ‘ …Our Lady warns that there will be an evil council (VatII). And she warned against the changes in the liturgy; changes in the Mass. This is explicitly set forth in the Third Secret.’
    The Popes and Prelates from Vatican II on have been convinced by some priests, expecially a Father Dahnis, that Lucia “added” her own comments to the 3rd Secret and for that reason refuse to obey heavens commands.
    But have not the mystics and saint warned of a terrible punishment that is very close for both the Hierarchy of the Church and the world for their disobedience and sins.

  • It’s true that ‘traditionalists’ far to JPII’s right got treated like old aunts in the attic; but ‘progressives’ equally far to the left got tossed out of the house.

  • “For more than three decades, the Vatican of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI operated on a version of the conservative maxim, “No enemies to the right.”

    “While left-wing theologians were silenced and liberal-to-moderate bishops were shunted aside in favor of hard-liners, liturgical traditionalists and cultural conservatives were diligently courted and given direct access to the apostolic palace.”

    WHAT are you TALKING ABOUT? Much as I loved John Paul II, he created a lot of those “liberal-to-moderate bishops,” and he sure as heck didn’t “shunt them aside. He was likely downright negligent in the matter of Bp. Weakland of Wisconsin.

    What’s more, a lot of us who miss and even grieve for the transcendence of Pope Benedict XVI’s liturgies still recognize and cheer with Pope Francis’ pithy, take-no-prisoners directness on issues of moral theology so needed in the world.

  • For me, Abp. Chaput’s “not very happy” is a major understatement because I think Pope Fracis’s pontificate may be disastrous for Catholics who want the Church to repeal the novelties that it introduced during and after Vatican II. The Holy Father seems to hope he’ll strip Christ’s Mystical Body the Catholic Church of her pre-conciliar glory and to democratize the Church’s monarchy into a republic. I hope I’m wrong because Francis’s pontificate shocks me.

  • I have far greater concern that they don’t know Aquinas — or that, like Benedict, they know but reject him. With the exception of von Balthasar, Ratzinger, and Kung, the great Catholic theologians of the twentieth century were Thomists. It got most of them in trouble, but they methodically and courageously kept going, and essentially gave us the Second Vatican Council.

  • He is no threat to Protestants who teach and love the Gospel of mercy. We are cheering him on.

  • I do not understand how any Catholic can be annoyed by or disagree with a Pope who basically paraphrases the Catechism every time he speaks.

    And if it weren’t for Vatican II and the two recently sainted popes, I would not be Catholic today, nor would a lot of other people who believe the changes were divinely inspired to heal an institutoon crippled by misguided tradition.

  • Amen. Our little parish does not reflect the author’s belief that conservatives make up most of the pews. And Pope Francis’ statements and practices are the closest I’ve seen to Christ’s own. He is the first modern religious leader I’ve ever seen truly walk the walk.

  • Dear Ms. Coughlan,

    Please read the introductory letter that Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci wrote to criticize the so-called Ordinary Form of the Mass when Ottaviani headed the Holy Office during Vatican II. I hope it’ll convince you to reconsider calling us Catholic Traditionalists “Pharisees.” We’re only striving to practice the unchangeable religion that Christ has delivered to us through His Holy Apostles. Although I’m sure you’re a sincere, well-meaning person, the word “Pharisees” insults me.

  • Pope Francis is just what our church needs! The church is a living, breathing, organizm….made up of the Body of Christ. It will change as time demands….but the core, the truth of the Gospel will always remain. Let’s not loose the direction for the trees that sometimes get into the path we think we want to direct the world. Yea Pope Francis….and I loved Pope John Paul II. We are humans….and He will not leave us astray!

  • So, basically, you’re so extreme that you left the Church. And anyone who isn’t a total extremist isn’t “traditional.” TRULY traditional Catholics aren’t Catholic.

    Got it.

  • ” I think you are confusing dogma with Christ-centered behavior.”

    In my mind, PF has demonstrated Christ like behavior,
    exhibiting the qualities you listed for Jesus, both before and after he became pope.., That is why he has touched the hearts of so many as did Pope John XXIII. What a breath of fresh air. The Spirit is alive once again in the Roman Catholic Church. Alleluia.

  • You would probably call me a conservative Catholic. At least when it comes to family and tradition. However I had some trouble warming up to Pope Benedict. Probably because I really had no idea what he was really all about. If you think that Pope Francis is really any different from the two popes before him, you should read this: and this:; Pope Francis has a very different personality and style, but his faith is THE SAME. I happen to absolutely adore Pope Francis. He’s more my style, but I REALLY appreciate Pope Benedict as well. I’m looking forward to reading his theological books on the life of Christ. He’s apparently very easy to understand, and easy to read, unlike Pope JP II. Three totally different styles… THE SAME FAITH in each.

  • Basically, this post takes a handful of out-of-context quotations (Katrina Fernandez, for one, is “annoyed” with how her quote’s been presented) to create the illusion of massive conservative disaffection with Pope Francis. There are some radical traditionalists who believe the sky is falling. The rest of us are more peeved at the chattering classes who are determined to “spin” everything he says into a renunciation of the last thirty-five years. Certainly, Francis has a different style than did Benedict or Bl. John Paul, and he has a different set of emphases. But there’s very little he’s said so far that Benedict and John Paul didn’t say in their own pontificates. By this time next year, I predict, progressives will be pretty disillusioned with Francis, and will come to the conclusion that he’s a smile, a pair of black shoes and nothing more.

  • I think at times we lose sight of something……..The Holy Spirit was the one who inspired the College of Cardinals – men chosen by JP II and Benedict – to elect Francis as Pope. We must have faith that he is the man that God has chosen to lead his people. We may not always agree with what he says/does, but in the end he is the one who has been called to this office. He is the Vicar of Christ. And yes, maybe he is a bit “radical” in a few ways, but I’m pretty sure that’s what people said about his boss a couple of thousand years ago.

  • HAHA Man oh man. Yeah that unsettling pope franny…talking about not judging people and helping the poor and how globalization AKA international gangster bankers and money launders and cartels ripping off the working people of the planet for their own benefit is a bad thing. Helping the sick and needy…Kind of sounds more like Jesus…I don’t know what religion you are following but its more of a political and self induced doctrine than that of the teachings of Christ. Get a clue please.

  • This current Pope is the Trojan horse with the 20 of his close Masonic friends. The goal, to remove Jesus out of the church. Jesus did not choose this man the Masons did. Remember the end is closer then you think. The warning second coming . com Jesus God and our blessed Mother are giving this information for all not to be decived. Pope Benadict is our last Pope this new one is the anti. Discern this information and keen to the new changes. God bless you all. Praise be to Jesus!

  • Ever since the printing of the Book of Revelation, I’ve had trouble taking people named John seriously. It’s been the end times for nearly 2000 years.

  • How ironic that conservative Catholics are nostalgic for the past when every word uttered by a pope was usually accepted without question, and certainly without public debate by the faithful.

  • Welcome to the Church. As an long term papist, may you enjoy your spiritual journey. Pope Francis is a breath of fresh air that has been needed.
    His concern for the poor, and the downtrodden is what I believe is what unites us in faith. Those that abuse their fellow brother and sisters and exploit the poor were always judged by Jesus. The bishops and administrators in our church that didn’t protect youngsters from predators among us are the most guilty.
    We are sinners, and we must return to the basics of our faith. -My mother, rest her soul, was a convert-and taught us all the joy of our faith. Enjoy and pray for all of us.

  • All I can say is “Go Francis”!! I think the “breaking” of the grip of the conservative right is GREAT!!

  • I’m an ex-catholic (now a None) who formally defected from the church. I hope that all of this fuss is more evidence of the church’s demise.

  • I believe that the church must grow and evolve to exist. The pope is correct : who are we to judge. So many issues that exist in this modern church derive from an enlightened tolerance. The acceptance of gay and women priests, birth control etc. If, like the pope, we learn not to judge, but rather open our hearts to all, perhaps our churches will be more reflective of a young evolving society. When was the last time you heard a baby cry in church. It is quickly becoming more of a rarity then it should.

  • Apparently you’re of the subterfuge camp regarding the following quote from Pope Francis, which the DLEMM – Dominant Liberal Establishment Mass Media – has ignored:

    “The problem is not having this [homosexual] orientation. No, we must be brothers and sisters. The problem is lobbying for this orientation, or lobbies of greed, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the most serious problem for me. And thank you so much for this question. Thank you very much!”

  • That’s because the traditionalists do not fit into the preferred narrative since Vatican II and its falsely-called “new springtime”. The traditionalist orders are an effront to all the failed orders and diocesan vocations programs. The ones that are doing well seem to do so in relation to how closely they come to the traditional understanding of the Church.

    The progressives hardly get tossed out of the house, at least not like they would have been back in the day. They should be though, since they are heretics. There is a big difference between not wanting to go along with the emperor’s new clothes bit and denying fundamental doctrines of the faith and putting into doubt most other things.

  • The remainder of John 8:11 which you conveniently omitted

    “Go, and now sin no more.”

    It’s rather telling that those who paraphrase Scripture out of context while attempting to champion the plight of the “marginalized”(sic) always disregard that specific teaching of Christ.

  • Such facility in labeling; such ease in judging. I pray that The Lord does not judge as harshly as some of you. Open your minds to other opinions! Not everything in our church is canon law or doctrine. There’s room for all and we can all learn from each other.

  • What if we focused on the Church’s mission as a whole, instead of becoming so caught up in temporal matters such as ostentatious liturgies? We are still celebrating the same mysteries and sacraments as before Vatican II, however more closely to how Christ Himself implemented them. The way in which His Holiness lives–and has lived–his daily life is in no doubt an example of how we can live a Christ-like life of humility, service, mercy, and sacrifice. I would find it rather hypocritical if a man who is the head of the world’s largest charity advocated for such pompous rituals.

  • Perhaps Noreen we can evolve to the point where sodomy will be performed right on the altar, after all to liberals sodomy should be a sacrament.

    What really needs to happen is the complete rejection of “tolerance” so that the very concept smashed. Gays need to be purged from the priesthood and women kept out of the priesthood. We have a feminized Church as it is.. Baby cry in Church??? perhaps this it is rare in the dried up parishes that swallowed Vatican 2 whole and all the modernism that went with it.. Go to traditional parish and you will find plenty of large families with lots of babies… what needs to happen Noreen is the rejection of tolerance and acceptance of holiness and those two concepts having nothing to do with each other

  • “caving in to every whim of the Modernist faction”

    Every whim of the “Modernist faction?” Please.

    A new misasl translation. Keeping women second and thrid class citizens in the church. Restoring the Tridentine mass. Banning gay men from the priesthood. Appointing reactionary bishops and cardinals like Burke, Pell, Chaput, etc. What planet are you from?

  • He is very clear on the need for compassion, kindness and imitation of Jesus and you do not concern yourself with violations of those mandates from Jesus? Jesus was too. You do not seem worried about the commission of the sins of arrogance, hate and lies- why must you have so much clarity on gays? bc that is one sin you don’t commit? or you wish to be certain it is not a sin before you come out? Why not work on the ones you are are clearly guilty of? you know, take the log out of your own eye, dude. And if you are gay, well, God made you and God does not make mistakes. Follow Him and His clear teachings- if you cannot do that, why are you so worried about clarity about gays?

  • There is no lack of clarity. The statement “who am I to judge?” was taken wholly out of context- literally one line within a whole paragraph.

    When asked directly about homosexuality, he was very clear:
    From the in-flight press conference, full transcript:

    Patricia Zorzan: (Originally in Spanish)
    Speaking in the name of the Brazilians, society has changed, young people have changed, and we see many young people in Brazil. You have spoken to us about abortion, matrimony between persons of the same sex. In Brazil, they have passed a law which broadens the right to abortion and has allowed marriage between persons of the same sex. Why didn’t you speak about this?

    Pope Francis: (Originally in Spanish)
    The Church has already expressed herself perfectly on this. It wasn’t necessary to return to it, just as I did not speak about fraud or lies or other things about which the Church has a clear doctrine.

    Patricia Zorzan: (Originally in Spanish)
    What is the position of Your Holiness, can you tell us?

    Pope Francis: (Originally in Spanish)
    That of the Church. I’m a child of the Church!
    I do not know why everyone wants to ignore these statements and focus on “Who am I to judge?” which- okay, if a gay person is seeking God and living a chaste life, there is nothing to judge them on. They are living according to God’s teaching.

    I don’t know why anyone has a hard time with this.

  • I resume you are good fiends with many powerful Masons who talk with you about how they hate Jesus, with you active in the conversation. Otherwise how would you know these things?

  • Ortodox would mean believing all the doctrines of the church, and the words of Christ in the Gospels and as quoted or alluded to elsewhere in the New Testament.

    Traditional would add a belief in the Thomistic theory of Natural Law and the popes interpretation of it in certain encyclicals concerning sex. But not concerning social and economic teaching. They would also accept as settled certain matters of discipline: no married priest, not women priests.

    Mildly liberal would add the acceptance of the recent Popes’ teaching on Natural Law in regard to abortion and social and economic teaching but not on contraceptives. They would question the wisdom of sticking to the disciplinary teaching of no married priests.

    Strongly liberal would see things the way the mildly liberal see them but would also openly advocate for married priests and women priests. They might also disagree n abortion, some seeing it as sinful but allowable in civil, secular law, others seeing it as allowable but preferably preventable with widespread distribution of contraceptives and morning after pills.

    Conservatives in the USA accept papal authority on sex (at least in public), stess loyalty above criticism, largely reject Catholic social teaching as obligating societies to create economic fairness and care for the poor through government, and have come, in most cases, to accept the laissez-faitre capitalism of the 1800s, which they call liberty. Many are more devoted to Ayn Rand than any Pope.

    Francis insists on the spectrum: traditional sexual morality, but with kindness and respect for those who might disagree; Catholic social teaching, including condemning the excesses of laissez-faire capitalism and supporting the rights of unions and stressing active service to the poor; and traditional church discipline, but with married priest possibly opened up. His approach is not very different from the approach of the Jesuits and the vefy catholic Christian Democratic party in Chile before the Pinochet coup was engineered by right wing Catholics and the United States. He will make it clear that opposing gays and abortion and voting for Republican pro-corporate policies does not make a person a :good” public Catholic. More is required.

    At least that’s how I see it

  • Under Cardinal Law Fr. Porter was caught performing sodomy on the church altar. The very ultramontane, conservative Cardinal Law did nothing about it.

  • Not every word. Conservatives freely rejected any statements condemning the excesses of capitalism and advocating for a fairer economic system, including the need for unions. To them these were merely misinformed papal opinions, not decrees. “Mater si, magister no.”

  • To suggest that the Church has had a policy of “no enemies to the right” over the last thirty years, or that westerners are leaving the Church in droves because of its “rightward movement” is ignorant at best, and deceitful at worst. The entire Church has been on a decidely “leftward” trajectory since the Second Vatican Council {1962-1965}. Popes John Paull II and Benedict XVI were anything but the stalwart champions of tradition that both thier modernist critics and neocon sychophants claim them to be. Both men were unabashed in thier support for VII and much of the rank liberalism contained therein. Before the Council, the pews, seminaries, and Catholic schools were packed; everyone knew thier Baltimore Catechism, received Holy Communion at the altar rail on the tongue–while kneeling {from the priest, as opposed to an “extraordinary Eucharistic Minister”}, and nuns actually dressed like nuns. Most importantly, the Mass was the traditional Catholic Mass, not the Novus Ordo protestantesque supper service that now constitutes the Church’s “ordinary” form of the Sunday liturgy. If you want to bring people back to the Church, then the Church needs to reclaim her true patrimony, just as she had always done prior to Vatican II.

  • Why is that one statement pulled so out of context by the majority of the media? I think it would have been better for David Gibson to reference Scott P. Richert’s writing instead of Andy Comiskey’s article when David was making this point: “…and, in a line heard round the world, he said, “Who am I to judge?”” Scott gives a more unbiased understanding of the context of how Pope Francis used this phrase than Andy does.

    It was helpful that David offered the hot link at, detailed arguments, to Dr. Robert Moynihan’s letter #80. It’s a long article that is well worth taking the time to read all the way through. His points expand even further on what Scott Richert has said.

    I can see why David would chose to reference Andy Comiskey instead of Scott Richert. Yet, I think Andy muddies the water.

    I do not see that Pope Francis’s use of the word, gay, was offhanded, as Andy Comiskey claimed. Andy recently joined the Catholic church. It does not appear that he has yet taken the time to understand Pope Francis as Dr. Moynihan has. The word, gay, means so many different things to different people. I believe Pope Francis was correct in using that term after the reporter used the term first, in the context of a lobby movement. I believe he was correct in resisting the need to clarify his understanding of the term, gay, at that point at the close of the long interview with reporters.

    It’s odd that Andy is concerned about the Pope using the term, gay, without carefully defining it, when he is compelled to use the term, gay, in the next sentence himself in his article (what was a written article and not just verbal statements at the end of a lengthy interview). It appears to me that Andy represents the lack of respect and graciousness that Pope Francis is trying to show and encourage other to show.

    It’s a bit odd in the way that Andy supports Courage, which does not advocate a person seeking a shift in their same-sex sexual attractions, and how he supports the position of Restored Hope Network, that does.

    His terminology is confusing when he says, “those of us who come out of SSA,” after attending a Courage conference. SSA refers to same-sex attractions (but even that term isn’t clear as to whether it is about only same-sex sexual attractions, or same-sex emotional, relational and even romantic attractions). Before Andy’s phrasing was more about those who come out of homosexuality – meaning same-sex sexual behavior and maybe seeing a shift away from same-sex sexual attractions. So, the phrase, “come out of SSA” would not be what Pope Francis was referring to at all. I’m surprised that Andy would not be more accurate in his vocabulary – since he is writing of his concern that Pope Francis isn’t being accurate enough when he used the term, gay, in his response to the question on a gay lobby.

    So, it’s good to take the time to read through the references that are provided in articles like this one. And, to wonder why some are referenced and others are left out of an article.

  • Perhaps you should sit down and take a look at what you wrote.
    It is way beyond nasty.
    The churches you describe are few and far between. take a good look around outside of your comfort zone. Churches are closing and there are fewer and fewer young men entering the seminary.
    You may choose to ignore the symptoms and denigrate/judge those You do not find worthy, but the church is in trouble.
    I find it ironic that you reject tolerance.
    Jesus might have lived longer if those in power had more tolerance for his message.

    And those of us who have chosen to walk away, do so for a good reason.The tradition bound, patriarchal hierarchy was one of my top reason!

  • I don’t accept the article’s underlying assumption that this pope is, in fact, Catholic. Bergoglio is a Jesuit, and as most of us have known for a few decades at least, Jesuits haven’t been Catholics since 1972.

  • I agree with you. I think that the reason people take this statement out of context is that they want Pope Francis to be approving of same-sex sexual behavior. For some, maybe just in a gay marriage. For others, in loving, long-term committed same-sex relationships. For still others, in more casual same-sex sexual encounters. Depending on how the term, chaste, is used, most people would be frustrated that the Catholic would teach chastity.

  • “Go and sin no more” applies to very human being for all of us are sinners. What has impressed me so much about PF is how Christlike he is. His emphasis in not on dogma but on living our Christian faith which is summed up so richly in this passage from Colossians. “Colossians 3:11-17

    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, [a]barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.

    12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and [b]patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is [c]the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ [d]rule in your hearts, to which [e]indeed you were called in one body; and [f]be thankful. 16 Let the word of [g]Christ richly dwell within you, [h]with all wisdom teaching and admonishing [i]one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing [j]with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

  • Now that we’re paraphrasing, I remember one: How many times should we forgive, 7 times–no, you must forgive 7×70 times. We’re all repeat sinners–soon as I leave the confession box before I know it I’ve done something again! We just have to keep trying to be good and to forgive others as we are being forgiven, over and over again. I think Jesus knows we are all repeat performers.

  • To think that every Pope is going to be a good leader or truth teller or truly defend the faith is overly optimistic.

  • It is the non-traditionalists who support abortion and defend gay marriage and then expect an eternal reward. Can you believe such self-deception?

    God is a God of Mercy and Justice!

  • Here’s quite a contrast:

    Francis the Jesuit: “Who am I to judge?…..

    St. Peter Damian:

    Not sparing those ecclesiastics (Pope Francis??) who knowingly permit sodomites to enter holy orders or remain in clerical ranks while continuing to pollute their office, the holy monk lashes out at “do-nothing superiors of clerics and priests,” reminding them that they should be trembling for themselves because they have become “partners in the guilt of others,” by permitting “the destructive plague” of sodomy to continue in their ranks.

    This Pope is apparently okay with gay priests. That is an outrage!!

  • My anglican friend recently made a comment to me out of the blue as he asked “What is going on with your pope ?” as I asked him what he meant as he had never criticized a pope all the years we’d known each other. Anyway he then made references to atheists, homosexuals, etc etc. With an honest and true heart
    I only wish to make one point here in this forum. I am with Jesus Christ and everything which has been foretold in scripture about the times we are living.

  • I think I’ve read this same article about 15 times now. It’s just another attempt to drive a wedge between “conservative” Catholics and the pope. While there definitely is such a thing as a conservative Catholic, the term is almost never used correctly. What most people mean when they say conservative Catholic is orthodox Catholic, but the two are not the same (the confusion likely comes from the fact that there are so few orthodox liberal Catholics today). Pope Francis is definitely orthodox (so please stop the nonsense that he’s going to “change” Church doctrine as if he has that power…), but he does not seem to be all that conservative – at least not in comparison to Benedict. In some sense the tension between right and left within the bounds of orthodoxy is a very healthy thing. It keeps all people from falling to the temptation of clericalism.

    All that being said, orthodox conservative Catholics are on the whole extremely happy with Francis, even if there is a small amount of unease with some of his orthodox liberal tendencies.

  • I question if the author of this strange article is a practicing Catholic, or if he only calls himself Catholic. Left , Right, Center, Conservative, Moderate, Liberal Catholic? There is no such religion. I am CATHOLIC. Don’t ask Main Stream Liberal Media, Anti Catholics, Protestants and Atheists about the Catholic Church. Instead read the Catechism, and Vatican II documents, and research the Church fathers… if you are really seeking the truth about Catholicism.

  • Not sure what Ms. Fernandez has to be ‘annoyed’ about here. Gibson gave a pretty fair, albeit brief, statement of what she wrote. In fact, I read her actual blog as revealing significantly deeper discomfort than I had expected to find from Gibson’s reference.

  • 1950s American Catholicism did, indeed, have great breadth. That it lacked depth, though, is quite evident by how quickly it collapsed. We, of course, will never know what ‘might have happened’ without the Council. A Catholic culture that collapsed so quickly and easily, though, seems likely to have done so from inherent, internal weakness, at least as much as from any particular disruptive factor.

    As far as why people are leaving the Church in droves, of course there are many factors. But to dismiss the ‘Church’s rightward turn’ as being one such — and significant — factor, is to be willfully blind. Not sure of the exact definition of a ‘drove,’ but I’m pretty sure that I’m personally familiar with at least a drove who have left for that very, and precise, reason.

  • Many Catholics whose parents did not go to college started going to college. This exposed them to many “cultures” outside their parochial “Catholic culture.” Moving into other cultures, plus becoming obsessed with sports, made the church far less important to many Catholics and their children and grandchildren. The sour right wing attitude of so many Catholics also drove people away. And insipid political sermons.

  • A person is not a sodomite unless he performs an act of sodomy, and continues in that practice.

  • When someone moves into an extreme on either side of the spectrum, he runs the risk of falling off. A few of the comments, I think, have demonstrated this.

  • Christ said only that the Holy Spirit would protect the Church from error. He never said He would inspire Cardinals to elect the right Pope. The claim that He did is pure buffoonery.

  • You got it backwards, only traditional Catholics are Catholics. A traditional Catholic is one who keeps the faith of the Apostles and the form of the Mass and sacraments instituted by Christ. Pope Leo XIII said: “The doctrine of the Apostles is the true faith” (Satis Cognitum, 32). Pope Pius XII said: “Only those are to be included as members of the Church who are baptized and profess the true faith” (Mystici Corporis, 22). Vatican II taught what the Church had previously condemned (for example, ecumenism was condemned by Pope Pius XI in Mortalium Animos, and religious liberty was condemned by Pope Pius IX in Quanta Cura and by Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos). That is heresy, and as Pope Pius XII taught in the above quoted encyclical: “Not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to severe a man from the Body of the Church as does schism or heresy or apostasy.” (Ibid, 23).
    Jesus said: “because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin the vomit thee out of My mouth.” (Apocalypse 3: 16).

  • No Josh, it is the squishy middle that has been dropping out in droves. I guess older neo-Catholics are sticking around, but the Church is bleeding members.

  • Funny you mention JPII. He drove away 10s of millions of Catholics because he was a liturgical liberal.

  • So to all of the neo Catholics who think JPII and Francis are great, read the objective words from Barbara slowly. You are right, Barbara, Francis is no threat to Protestants at all.

  • Have no concern about Trads Jim. We’re doing quite well. Seminaries are full. Baptisms and marriages FAR out number funerals. No, have concern for the NeoCatholic Church. It is dying. It contracepted itself to death and the priests die from AIDS or old age. Trads are growing and NeoCatholics will soon be gone. Vat. II will be forgotten in about 50 years.

  • No Andy, you are deluded by a dying Church. Faith is not how you live your life. That is called Charity. Faith is believing what the Church has always taught.

  • Anthony, Trads have been pointing out that the sky is falling for 40 years. Saying the Church would lose a bunch of members and silly stuff like that. Oh wait…

  • Since we’ve slaughter 100 million babies, disobeyed the Mother of God on Fatima, and brought in a bunch of sodomites, what kind of Pope do you think the Holy Ghost would pick for us? The recent Popes are a chastisement from God.

  • Noreen, what are you talking about? Vatican II was a revolutionary change. And the Church collapsed. Even in the Prot sects, the liberal “inclusive” sects are dying and the dogmatic ones grow.

  • Jim, what you fail to see is how important dogma is. When it was taken away, the Church collapsed. When dogma is reintroduced (aka Tradition), the chapels thrive. Open your eyes.

  • Well, since the context of that statement involves the active sodomite whom the Pope appointed as head of the Vat. bank, then yes, it regards sodomy by your standard.

  • What Jz Jz means by “orthodox” is orthodox with regards to Vatican II. These “orthodox” Catholics would have been excommunicated by pre Conciliar popes.

  • Mr. David Gibson,
    You really need to define your terms. There are basically 3 groups. A “liberal” is basically a heretic. Usually supporting contraception, women priests, etc… The second group is a neo Catholic. They support the changes of Vat. II. So they are all for altar girls, communion in the hand, etc… They tend to be older. Many are boomers. The last group are “Trads”, who believe what the Church has alway taught. JPII and Benedict were neo Catholics. Francis might be a neo Catholic or a liberal, it is too early to tell. The term “conservative” should not be used as it is confusing. For example, many trads are economically leftwing. Also, neoCatholics are usually socially conservative, but big supporters of Vat. II, which means they are liturgical liberals. The three “buckets” I listed work best: Liberal, NeoCatholic, and Trad.

  • True aged. JPII gave us Bernadin and Mahoney. I don’t know of any progressives that got excommunicated, only Trads.

  • Well Diane I am glad you are gone, we need less of your kind…I am glad you found my post nasty, annoying Church liberals is one of my favorite hobbies. Yes I reject tolerance I have confronted the threaten gay priests directly, I have ripped down rainbow flags hanging in parishes and burned them. Diane I reject your liberal sanctimony and spit it back your face. It is you liberals that have destroyed the Church from within and it will be us traditionalist who preserve whats left of it… oh by the way sweetie the traditional orders are the ones producing new priests,,, the liberals orders are dead on the vine.. Deo Gratrias

  • Oh, another “open minded” liberal who would not know truth if it kicked her in the teeth….

  • Law should have been thrown in jail… see unlike liberals I am able to call out someone who I might have agreed with,… Funny Mahony didn’t do anything either and I don’t see Church liberals saying a damn thing about….

  • You have a point, JamesD. There is little point to participating in a religion if one has no conviction to do so. However, those who tend to an extreme on either side would do well to reassess their rhetorical choices because if they come off as perpetually angry, that “squishy middle” sees nothing in the community of believers worth returning for.

  • Nice post, Mary Ellen. John Allen has given a very good analysis of the first months of PF reign. Gosh, I hate to use that word reign as it just doesn’t seem to fit the mold of our new Bishop of Rome.

    Here is the link to it in the National Catholic Register. Oops, I meant the National Catholic Reporter.

  • Your stated conviction that “Vat. II will be forgotten in about 50 years” is an extremely non-traditional statement for a Catholic. Extremely. You may be all kinds of things, but you are not a traditional Catholic whatever you might call yourself. That statement revealed this fact with breathtaking clarity.

  • One of the problems with many schismatic (“traditionalist”) Catholics,” (like, it seems, Alphonsus Jr., JamesD, and Mary above) is that they are actually ignorant of the larger history of the Catholic Church from apostolic times but do not realize it. They often think that they are well-versed in Church history because of their extensive knowledge of a few post-Tridentine documents… but this is much like Protestants who think they have read the Church Fathers because they have read Luther and Calvin. The Church did not come into existence in the 16th century and an ignorance about the early Church leads to honest mistakes.

    For example, the Latin Mass of Trent was not instituted by Christ- but St. Pius V. It was but one example of the Sacred Liturgy of the Church- and any serious investigation into the early Church reveals many more forms- some in Latin, some in Greek, some in languages like Aramaic, etc. Many of these are still used in Eastern Rite Liturgies, for example.

    In a similar way, actual investigation into the history of the sacraments shows that they have been performed in various ways, in various languages, in different periods of Church history. While I applaud the schismatic Catholics for taking seriously St. Vincent of Lerins description of the Catholic faith as that which is practiced “everywhere, always, by all” (Commonitory 2:6), they should also read him when he speaks of the progress of the Church (Commonitory 23:54-59).

    Mary (above) also quotes Venerable Pius XII from Mystici Corporis but his decision against Fr. Feeney is proof that he did not mean the encyclical the way that she interprets it.

  • I hesitate to contradict you, James, as you clearly know whereof you speak concerning delusion. But the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity are all lived virtues if they are real, else simply notional. Andy may not have spoken with precision, but he is also not the one who spoke out of delusion.

  • The Mass and the sacraments were instituted by Christ and handed down by Apostolic tradition. The Latin rite comes from St. Peter. Inscriptions on the walls of the catacombs show that the Latin rite was offered in Latin in the first centuries. Pope St. Pius V merely codified and streamlined the existing liturgy and made it forever binding. There is no “interpretation” necessary in the papal documents I quoted, they speak clearly for themselves. I urge people to read them. Nor do I support Fr. Feeneys heretical interpretation of the dogma that outside the Church there is no salvation.

  • On the contrary, they were not “traditionalists” they were more heretics who were making up their own rules & making salvation totally impossible by leading everyone astray. jesus knew they were writing their own Talmudic law which excluded Him. Your comment is nonsense.

  • Pope Gregory I; Pope St Pius V and The Trent Councils have perpetually guaranteed the latin Mass as a right to all Catholic priests and lay who wish it “in perpetuum”. This has the backing of Scared Liturgical Tradition and infallible doctrinal guarantees. No pope can abrogate nor obrogate this right. POpe Paul VI never dared to even in 1969 with his NO the vernacular.
    We do not require Pope Francis I to do anything about it. It is up to proests and lay to continue the tradition handed down to us for at least 1,500 years. Pope benedict XVI only essentially clarified and restated the right.
    If other western Latin Rite Catholics want vernacular they cannhave it. However, many Catholics in increasing numbers wish to confirm their conciliar and papal rights to hear The Latin Mass as our ancient forefathers used to.

  • Yes, the pope was media-naive with his statements – naturally they seized on the characterisitic “do not judge” liberalist stance post-conciliar papacies espouse, to the detriment of their papal authority to state clearly homosexuality is a danger to the soul because the practice of it is a sin crying out to Heaven for vengeance. It is no ordinary sin & is classified with 3 others as particularly grave.
    Being a liberal modernist himself, the sin element was stated but relegated to the latter part of his enunciations. These are usually not noted in writing and in spoken language. The important noteable information comes comes first.
    Of course, homosexuals should be integrated members of society but their sinful behaviour should not be. This is not clear by what he says. Also, the traditional church was usually very merciful about the behaviour – always in Confession and The Sistine Chapel was painted with sublime art by a homosexual artist whom the pope of the time knew about. He is not the only example. Mercy and forgiveness was not invented in 1965 by the liberal modernists, although you’d think so by the way they ridicule the pre-conciliar church, but by Christ for His Church from Petrine times.
    In my traditional Catholic upbringing I was taught to discern people by their behaviour but not to judge the person themselves. Old teaching by Our Blessed Lord (judge the tree by its fruit) faithfully handed down to me by traditional priests and catechists. Pope Francis I should think more clearly before he speaks. This is yet another occasion when he muddies the waters with seemingly off the cuff thoughts.

  • There is not one reasonably sane man who can declare with a straight face that the Church has taken a “right turn” since Vatican II, or that JPII and/or Benedict XVI were traditionalists. Those who think otherwise are, as I noted previously, either ignorant or deceitful.

  • You’ve quoted that New Liturgical Movement article out of context. It was not anything that Francis himself has done that annoyed the author, it is articles that seem determined that you either have to be pro-Francis or pro-Benedict, and most are tending towards pro-Francis because he’s more down-to-earth. The secular press has always been intimidated by the Catholic Church, and they’re using a Pope who dresses plainly, purely because that’s his way of expressing his faith, as an instrument to attack those who go for the traditional awe factor, namely Benedict.

    This is extremely galling to anybody who actually knew something about Benedict and liked him. Moreover, it’s insulting to Francis. It suggests that Francis is deliberately rebuking Benedict, and he’s not. It suggests that Benedict would disapprove of the Pope dressing as Francis does; Benedict may not have done it like that, but he actually once said, ‘There are as many [ways to God] as there are people.’ He would never disagree with Francis for something as ridiculous as his style. He would never silence anyone for the simple fact of disagreeing with him, and even those who you describe as ‘progressive’ whom he apparently silenced, he merely said that they could not claim that what they were saying – which was at odds with the Catholic spirit – was the stance of the Catholic Church – he did nothing to stop them saying what they were saying. Benedict dressed traditionally as a cardinal; Francis dressed simply as a cardinal; both remained true to themselves during their papacy and that’s what we should be focusing on, not on their differences.

    This type of article is more divisive than anything Francis has done. Personally I have always felt more at home in traditional churches with the solemnity and grand decor and vestments, rather than the ‘social justice’ ones. But that’s because the social justice churches I have been in tended to focus on spouting political agenda and looking virtuous in the eyes of secularists rather than actually BEING virtuous and getting to the heart of the faith, with the result that I would go into the church and I didn’t feel the faith emanating from it. It doesn’t have to be this way. I have been in traditional churches, too, where all the tradition is meaningless and heartless. I can sense the faith emanating from Francis, who is a paragon of plainness; he is clearly a very holy man who just does it differently to Benedict, but the specious social justice types are venerating him as an idol, which Benedict for all his imperial garb would never have stood. It is missing the point of faith that Benedict condemned, not anything that the social justice churches do per se.

    I’m not saying that Francis isn’t different to Benedict because he clearly is. But not in any way that should cause any worry. Both advocate a simple faith, in very different ways – I would describe Francis’ plainness and Benedict’s adornment both as ‘simple’ in the thought processes they evoke – and both have been very vocal in stressing that faith should focus on Jesus. What are ‘left’ and ‘right’ to Jesus? He’d overturn your computer workstations. I guess I’m what you’d call the ‘Catholic right’ but there’s no such thing – at least there shouldn’t be; I like and admire Benedict as a theologian, very much so, but I have no reason so far to be displeased with Francis as Pope: he’s giving his all to lead the church to Jesus as he feels best. Bandying about political terms, saying this one is left, this one is right, is against both Popes’ message. We’re all on one straight road.

    I presume the quotation about ‘not loving a Pope who didn’t want to be Pope’ is from a rare critic of Francis, and this highlights that it’s not always Francis’ partisans who are missing the point. Benedict didn’t want to be Pope either. He didn’t even actively *want* to be a bishop; he wanted to be a teacher, and he gave up his teaching post at a university in Germany to become archbishop, an appointment that surprised him because he had little pastoral experience. He was clearly appointed on the strength of his faith. Francis is the opposite side of the coin: he has pastoral experience in spades, he has spent his life working with the disadvantaged, and he didn’t want all the media attention that comes with the papacy. Both men put aside the image of their career that they had construed for themselves, in order to lead the church’s millions of believers. Let’s not tarnish their faith by trying to give it vacuous political labels.

  • Nicholas
    Welcome to the Church. I pray that your commitment and faith is representative of those that provide the growth in our flock.

  • I fully understand why you think this way. What must be stated is that our duty as Catholics is not just to proclaim the “good news”. When you get confirmed you are made a soldier of Christ. This means you are now obligated defend and fight for the Faith, establishing the social and spiritual reign of Christ everywhere and to everyone throughout the world without exception. A Catholic is meant to carry the authority and truths of the Catholic Church to all men so that Christ may reign through His Church. What Pope Francis and Pope John Paul ll and Pope Benedict have been doing by their laxity and ambiguity is not reaching out but

    lowering the standards which Christ’s Church had long held for mankind. It is good to reach out to sinners, but not at the expense of losing the traditions and teachings which help man to attain salvation. Especially in these times of when the Faith has been degraded by the world we need the traditional teachings of the Church which lead men to heaven. The truth of Christ lies immutable in the Church and it is from it that men will attain the truths which Christ has revealed.

  • I think Pope Francis has told it like it is. Catholics have for too long buried themselves in the beauty, majesty of the church, the gold, the statues, the piousness of it all. Pope Francis is simply telling everyone to focus on other things, like the poor (of which the church as a whole donates thousands if not millions to), the individuality of your thinking on the poor, not just the handing of money. To concentrate on our own sins rather than place blame on others who WE think are sinners, by exclusion and judgments. He wants us to focus on what Christ himself would have us focus, on love for community and all mankind, without our fingers pointed toward the ones we deem unworthy of God’s love. He wants our heads out of the deep sand of righteousness and to look at humankind in a fashion that we would ourselves like to have in our own lives. He wants us to break out of our church clicks and introduce ourselves to people who may be of our disliking and love those also. Sit someone at your tables who are vagrant, for you do not know who the angels are lurking beside you, and through experience I can tell you, the angels are the ones we usually have our fingers pointing at in shame. He wants us to lower our heads instead of holding them in a righteous height as we approach the alter. In other words, he is wanting us to get in touch with how Christ would handle every situation, without sword or words, but with silent kindness toward others. To become servants and not to be served. What good is it to serve those who can serve themselves???? I love this Pope, and I think he is telling all of us to get from the right and the left and just go down the middle where the road is straight, be it narrow, right into Heaven.

  • Miserabilism and iconoclasm have nothing to do with a humble, poor church. St Francis of Assisi may have chosen poverty but he insisted on a rich liturgical celebration and on Sacred liturgical Tradition. The fact this pope wants to wash his hands of some protocols is nothing other thana sign of inability to accept full responsibility for being pope. many of his off-the-cuff remarks are dubious in the supposed catholicity while he says and does things which create only doubt and ambiguity.
    One factor is sure, nothing is still being done about queer clergy and bishops because he is administratively this space.

  • Canisius, that is really sick. Nonsense like that is why so many people like me are finding life much better without organized religion. Those kind of comments do not encourage faith, they’re faith killers.

  • Then your Faith was weak to begin with… don’t blame me for your lack of Faith..go worship the god of yourself you are Non Servium

  • Mike you are another liberal who does not liked to be challenged thats all.. I make a habit of challenging and defeating liberals….

  • @Dorothy and liberals have run wild with their garbage and brought the Church to its knees… we Traditionalist will triumph…burn the rainbow flag

  • I think you are actually twisting the NAM article a bit, more so than Mr. Gibson. But far more revealing is to go to the comments after the article, and Zounds!, Mr. Gibson hadn’t even begun to speak of the degree of outright hostility that is manifest.

  • Francis of Buenos Aires, as much as Francis of Assisi, insists on rich liturgical celebration, and both mean much the same. First generation Franciscan liturgy was notably less ostentatious than common in the established orders. And Francis certainly had not time for foppery, liturgical or elsewise.

  • Bingo.
    It’s easy for any Pope to say “help the poor”. Who will disagree with that?
    But on the unpopular, politically incorrect issues of homosexual lifestyle, homosexual priests, then immediately the doublespeak and ambiguity begins.

  • This is so sad. If you all spent one iota of the energy you spend proving you are right and everyone who doesn’t agree with you is wrong, and instead follow Christ’s teachings, our world would be a radically different place. Instead you make us all look like a bunch of in-fighting idiots. Lord, have mercy on us all!

  • To not judge does not include not having an opinion.It has never been the responsibility of man to pass definitive and final spiritual judgements on man for actions and thoughts that have spiritual values and imports. The Pope,s statement on non-judgement is in recognition of this but he knows that the church has an opinion.Therefore he must have an opinion.Not his opinion but the opinion of the church.There is the world of matter and there is the world of the spirit.Those who are masters of the world might find themselves lost before divinity.There are certain basic fundamentals and truths that constitute and define the christian faith and indeed all other religious faiths.Take them away or deny them and all is lost.The raging battle in today,s world is not so much about liberals,neo-liberals versus conservatives or neo conservatives.It is simply a battle that has the primary intent of ousting God completely from the world He created .Having achieved this,man will set about rewriting the rules because as that French writer said,”Dieu est mort, et si Dieu est mort,tout est possible”(God is dead.If God is dead ,then all is possible)Mind you,religion, all religions are in the line of fire,more so organized religion with all their acknowledged fault lines.In spite of her faults and imperfections,the Catholic church with her history,traditions,teachings and Organization,represents the biggest obstacle in the fight to wipe God away from civilization and human consciousness.No longer a daunting challenge considering the gains made against God in modern times but again, considering the invisible hands that have kept the Church together for all of two thousand years,there is still hope

  • By thinking and placing your analysis in a political setting, using the terminology of politics, you give a faulty picture of what is happening in the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict did not display preferential treatment to the “right-wing”. Evidence of that can be found with his handling of the SSPX. What he did do was to require a minimum amount of orthodoxy from those who have some type of teaching authority in the church. He determined, as had every pope before him, that the phrase Catholic Church should have an objective meaning. Those who, in fits of fancy, made it up as they went along were chastised, as Christ taught they should be.

    Pope Francis does not have Pope Benedict’s intellectual finesse. In lieu of Benedict’s well reasoned thought process, we see a mind that appears somewhat disassociated from logic. He shoots first and thinks later. Some have said that this is merely his style, but it is absurd to think that he really aims for confusion.

    The irony of Francis is that he disdains the historical papacy as too being self-centered and too powerful yet acts like a tyrant to those who have legitimate aspirations that are outside his favor. Every liberal is a tyrant waiting to get out.

  • So I’m a schismatic? What is with the hate and anger from neo Catholics? Probably because they know their time is over. They’ve contracepted themselves to death and their parishes are closing down. Trads are growing very rapidly. Less than 10 million today, probably, but just look at all the baptisms. The outcome is already baked in, Trads are just sitting back and watching it unfold.

  • Really? And what would keep a non-binding (as per Vat. II), non-dogmatic, fallible (as per Paul VI) Council from being forgotten? Interestingly all the Catholic orders that ignore Vat. II are growing quite well. It’s just a matter of time at this point. When the last baby boomers die off, Vat. II will be gone.

  • See how these Catholics love one another! Shame, shame, shame. These vitriolic exchanges are a disgrace. Three Hail Marys and three Our Fathers for the lot of you.

  • He also said, “the poor you will always have with you.” He admonished the adulteress to, “sin no more.” He mentioned hell as the consequence of personal sin 46 times. His message was not about perfecting the material world, it was about living in such a way as to merit heaven in the next. He called Satan the prince of this world. He told us we had to embrace the cross…” If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Yes, Jesus was and is most definitely concerned about saving sinners. But, he wasn’t talking about saving their bodies, he was talking about saving souls. If your hand offends you, “cut it off”…if your eye offends you, “pluck it out.” “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world if you loses his soul?” Jesus was absolutely NOT about social work as you describe it. He wasn’t building a utopia here, he was ONLY concerned with the salvation of souls.

  • ” you are now obligated defend and fight for the Faith, establishing the social and spiritual reign of Christ everywhere and to everyone throughout the world without exception” Wow, I didn’t realize that the Catholic Church and the fundamentalist Muslims had so much in common. Well, I guess I should have realized it; after all, the right wings of any religion (or political movement), be they Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc., have been responsible for most of the violence, fear, and reactionism in the world today. So it is the job of the Catholic to promote Jihad? God save us.

  • I’m thrilled with Pope Francis. I guess the tight conservatives stay true to their ideals and only like it when they outnumber the progressives and control all the shots. They tell those who aren’t in control how horrible they are, how they are not Catholic, and that they should accept the Church and play their way. But whoa when they aren’t getting their way. Now they throw themselves on the floor like a 2-year-old and throw their temper tantrums and cry foul. Too bad. Time to grow up.

  • Yes it’s dumb to use the word that a group WANTS used in reference to them. Maybe we should be called cult members …..he was talking the language. People will actually listen when you care instead of damning them and bashing them with your choices of words than convey bigotry and ignorance. We are NOT to judge the actions of others, Jesus made this clear. We are to focus on the speck in our own eye. It would seem that most of us have enough sin of our own to deal with to keep plenty busy without criticizing the vicar of Christ. Oh but you must know better than Jesus Christ himself….Pope Francis should repent because he doesn’t do things your way. (God save us from our own)

  • Amen!! What a state collection of bigots and hate-filled followers (we hate you in the name of Jesus unless you say 100% of what we say). Good grief. Getting the church to evolve is like watching a glacier move or grass grow. I love you Papa!

  • Well I’ve been told I’m not Catholic by someone who can’t wait for a schism so the liberals will leave. I didn’t think praying for the Church of Jesus Christ to split was very Christian but you’d be surprised what’s “Christian” now.

  • Francis is conservative in most ways. But there is a deeply radical streak in his views — although an extremely traditional one. So traditional that it predates the Roman Catholic Church’s schism from the rest of the Christian polity, and predates its delusions of grandeur.

    This was made clear by some articles by reporters who have followed his career in Argentina closely. Francis is fundamentally *anti-clerical*, a tradition which dates back to the words of Jesus as reported in the Gospels, but which has been ignored by most churches for a very long time. And I say good for him. It goes far deeper than conciliarism. It is true humility.

    When he says “Who am I do judge?” he really, really means it. Justice is *mine* saith the Lord, and all that. Unlike most “Popes” and many “Bishops” he does not set himself up in the place of God.

    I’m more than a little impressed.

  • Sandy,
    I am responding to Deb’s in what I have said above. Everything I said relates directly to her comments. She said Jesus “chose” sinners, as if that’s his team. Omitting that he chose sinners for conversion, because sinners are the ones who need conversion. She mentions Jesus’ words to the adulteress but leaves out the part where he admonishes her to stop sinning. She states that Jesus is a social worker.
    Social workers are about worldly needs, not spiritual needs. My comments are intended to demonstrate that Jesus was clearly all about spiritual concerns and the next life. The reply comments fall directly below the comment that prompted the reply.

  • The Pope’s response to the question is uncharitable to the point of sinfulness.

    These are the Spiritual Works of Mercy, which we are obligated to perform in true charity toward our brothers.
    Certainly the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on Earth, would be held to a higher standard in this.

    Admonish the sinner
    Instruct the ignorant (This and the next work are extremely pertinent categories today, when so many people are confused by what the Church teaches on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, etc.)
    Counsel the doubtful
    Comfort the sorrowful
    Bear wrongs patiently
    Forgive all injuries
    Pray for the living and the dead

    The Pope is obligated to state that one can not define their very identity by their inclination to commit what has been described throughout Scriptures as a grievous offense against God, and defined as seriously disordered behavior by the Church.

    Then he would be obligated to state that those with an unresolved inclination to commit these sins deserve our prayers; but, they have no place as Priests at the Altar of God. Then he should have said that the Church as always taught that such inclinations are seriously disordered and the behavior is grievously sinful. .

  • You do realize that all of the pro homosexual “facts” which have been discovered and revealed in the past half century are almost certainly complete fabrications don’t you? I am referring to Michealangelo:

    His biographer Paolo Giovio says, “His nature was so rough and uncouth that his domestic habits were incredibly squalid, and deprived posterity of any pupils who might have followed him.”[27] He may not have minded, since he was by nature a solitary and melancholy person, bizzarro e fantastico, a man who “withdrew himself from the company of men.”[28]…
    Condivi ascribed to him a “monk-like chastity”

    Hardly sounds like a homosexual. No one is unaware that there is an agenda to promote this inclination and portray it in the most glowing light.

  • Every thread about pope Francis quickly degenerates into a squabble, sometimes vicious, usually with each side dismissive of the other. No one seems to be listening to the other, each appears only poised to take down their opponent and score a point. If we, all of us claiming to be Catholics, can not find common ground and communicate with love and respect for the other, how do we expect to evangelize the world? How can we speak with other religions, when we are so closed to each other. Each side comes from a well of anger, fear and certainty that they are right. Let us start listening to each other, disagree if we must but with respect and understanding of the other side. Why should the “world” listen to our message of peace, when we can not seem to even love each other. The unkindness demonstrated in this thread gives justification to the many who reject all religion as hypocritical. Let us remember the words of St. Paul, “there are many parts, but one body”. None of us is perfect, none of us has a total grasp of the Truth, let us not act and speak as if we do.

  • Well Mary, the problem here is that almost no one on the comment board, and almost no one who has a forum to speak as a Catholic, including the Pope, is actually faithfully relating the actual, dogmatic teaching of the Church. Most of the people commenting here have no idea what the Church teaches and are only stating their personal opinion. As we know, very few people who call themselves Catholic actually believe what the Church teaches to be necessary to be a member of the Church. Most Catholics pick and choose what they would like to believe, and many more have no idea what the Church teaches because they have never been taught what the Church teaches, and this includes most priests and religious. I hear incredibly heretical things coming out of the mouths of priests virtually every Sunday. So this is not a matter of Catholics squabbling. This is a matter of a bunch of people on an internet forum stating their own erroneous and ignorant opinions. It isn’t anger, fear or uncertainty, Mary. It’s mostly just a reflection of the politically correct brainwashing that they have been subjected to all of their lives that they simply regurgitate without any real knowledge of anything at all. It has virtually nothing at all whatsoever to do with Catholicism and the message of Christ.

  • Mary, I know you have the best intentions, but a very large part of the problem with the Catholic Church today has been caused by years of endless and meaningless dialogue. We have a rich tradition of dogma that we must access before we begin talking. This is not being done. It is a faulty notion that all ideas should carry the same weight. We first seek the sure guidance of the Bible, documents of the Catholic Church, writings of the saints, and then we talk–with humility. Humility does not mean backing away from revealed truth, but rather understanding that we tend to place our emotions before truth way too often to trust ourselves.

  • The Church collapsed quickly after Vatican II because our Blessed Mother warned us that it would. In 1917 she said that satan would enter the Church. And he did…..

  • “I can’t believe, cuz I won’t say that everyone else is wrong…there seems to be, more honesty in the anger of a song….& I may not share with you, your holy vision….but I sacrifice for my religion” – Andrew McNeely, Sea Of Souls

  • All one has to do is look at the Catholic church to understand what Sam Harris meant when he said “religion allows people by the billions to believe things that only lunatics could believe on their own.”

    And to think, about a third of our Congress is made up of these delusional individuals and we came close to electing a President who is even more delusional.

    If we should discover the President talking to an entity through his hat we would deem it to be a national emergency, yet if the 47% remark had not been revealed, we could easily have elected a President who believes his Mormon religion’s founding prophet did just that.

    When will we finally grow up?

  • Allan Wafkowski Aug 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm “Humility does not mean backing away from revealed truth, but rather understanding that we tend to place our emotions before truth way too often to trust ourselves.”

    Two things Allan. First, there is no such thing as “revealed” truth. Second, your comment on emotions was spot on. As Mark Twain remarked, “We do no end of feeling and mistake it for thinking.”

  • We are not to judge the actions of others? Sweeeeet – now I can permanently avoid jury duty!!

  • The wedge between Catholics stems from inconsistent teachings between V2 and pre V2 council documents. The pre V2 documents are now viewed by many as antiquated and irrelevant. I am a V2 Catholic and only in recent years have I accessed pre V2 Papal and Council documents to discover many inconsistencies between the two. How can the Church have two correct teachings? The traditionalist site historical Church documents when defending Her teaching and most Catholics today rely solely on writings stemming from V2 documents. Truth does not change, and the division among faithful Catholic will continue until one teaching is accepted as Catholic truth.

  • My! You are a tough guy aren’t you. “Courage” is easy from behind a computer keyboard. Put down the bag of cheetos, fat ass, get out of mommy’s basement and put on the swastika armband. We’ll all run in terror.

  • Typical Marxist rhetoric….”spewing insults and hate”! Those are the buzz words directed toward anyone who does not agree with them.

  • The rhetoric used to deflect any suspicion of Paul VI and JPII Modernist tactics is now expressed by the apologists for the present occupant of the Chair.

  • Vatican II brought the Church into the modern world, like it or not. Changes, we should be use to them by now ! We can now eat meat of Friday We can cremate our dead, We have had several new mass translations, We have moved the Tabernacle to the side or back of the church. We took down the High Altar for a simple table, We have lay Eucharist ministers, Men and women, we have lay readers mostly women now, we have Altar Girls, We have changed our style of music and worship. So, all the new Pope is saying is not to judge the Gay Priest who is looking for God ! After all we have already changed so far, why is this so hard ?

  • You make some valid points…and..I don’t totally disagree w/ much of what you share..but please don’t assume that everyone who prefers the Latin Liturgy as ignorant of Church hx .. it’s not totally rigidity…(The Imitation of Christ – rigidity stiffles Spirituality)…it’s much more than that…I couldn’t begin to share what I felt when I attended the Mass of my childhood..interestingly, SPPX.. a 6 a.m. Sunday Mass..snow on the ground..everyone dressed nice..infants dressed as if for Baptism…no one I could see was chewing gum…the music was not some protestant hymn with guitars and drums…the Homily addressed the was not some ‘feel good’ talk’…I could go on…my point..go, kind sir..where you heart leads you…I’m quite sure that the Sacraments are quite valid where you attend Mass…however I’m certain there might be some argument here…but please don’t assume that everyone , such as myself who prefers the Latin Liturgy is ignorant of Church hx…I am more than a little dismayed by what I see happening in Mass…but I’m pretty sure you would have some comment about my feelings…people talking out loud in church before and after Mass…people shaking hands and visting on their way ujp to receive Holy Communion, I’m one of 3 people attending Confession/reconciliation on Sat. afternoons…Priests telling me what I am cnfessing isn’t really a sin…I can recite the Act of Contrition if I feel like it…I could go on and on…but…I’m sure you think I’m crazy…just worship where you wish…give me the Mass of my childhood ….not people acting like clowns on the altar…

  • Its Pope Francis job to teach about right and wrong. Homosexuality and abortion are wrong and nothing anyone can say will change that. Its not judging to preach the truth.

  • I admire the Pope for actually saying what the church has been teaching since Vatican II, instead of trying to pretend it has not broken with tradition and apostolic teachings Vatican I infallible declared the Pope was to safeguard. John Paul II and Benedict were phonies in trying to pretend to be conservative while allowing everything and everything to take place. The reason people are leaving the church is because there is severe pedophilia which the church wanted a liberal priesthood after V2 and that is what they got and then did nothing, and second it stands for nothing. Christ taught the saved would be few, and to be loved by the world is not what Christianity is about. This is why I “left” the so called church over 10 years ago with my family, children and all our friends and cousins and started attending SSPX and SSPV chapels which teach what the church has taught for 2000 years before the horrible destruction of V2, it took me over 30 years to realize being brought up in the so called church that it stood for nothing, the Pope is supposed to safeguard the souls of 1B Catholics and life on earth is fleeting, it is heaven we are supposed to aim for and not be consumed by the modern world, as Christ taught the saved will be few

  • Pope Francis is catering to the people by dismissing serious sins and commenting that “who is he to judge”. Well he seems to forget that he is Peter and is suppose to lead the Church in the path that God wants him to and that means calling sin a sin. He is not leading the Church the way God wants it lead. In doing God’s will he will not be popular with those who commit evil, but so what, he is Pope and should teach according to God’s laws. In todays world, doing and saying the right thing is never popular.

  • You are right John,- Pope Francis is a trojan horse. When you see these changes come true, you will know that The Warning SEcond Coming prophecies are true. there will be new cross introduced, changes to the text of Holy Mass, change of words during Consecration, change of the meaning of Holy Communion (the church will say that it is a symbol of communion between all people and not the body of Jesus Christ). Church will say – All of this is in the name of renewing faith and church. but the truth is that all of this has one aim: killing the Church.
    Conspiracy theories? Watch this video about prophecies which have come true:

  • I would consider leaving the Catholic Church if the leadership approves of liberals, feminists, abortionists, gay marriage believers.. My family and I have been devout Catholics, and passionate about trying to live holy lives. but now I hear words that seem to make all that unnecessary, and that are so ambiguous Christ was not ambiguous about sin.

  • Good grief, all the posts here on “normal sex” and human relationships. There was a time centuries ago when Christians were taught that sex was for procreation only; that it was wrong to sit with your legs crossed because by doing so, a “cross” was formed with one’s “vile, lower parts”; that husband and wife should enter religious houses after their children left home; that people should celebrate the feast days of the saints they were named after, and not their own birthdays, because the latter were reminders or “parental lust”.

    Conservative Orthodox Christians still believe all of this. Clearly, Catholic views on human sexuality HAVE changed, or do any of you conservative types still adhere to all of the above, which at one time, was the NORM? Ten to one you’d whine if 10th century understandings of sexual morality were imposed on you, yet you’re in perfect sync with Martin Luther, who said that “Reason and intellect are enemies of faith, which must be utterly crushed – and destroyed.” Sorry folks, but those two things come from GOD.

  • I have a bad feeling that in some metaphysical way a Pope can’t resign, even if it had been done once. I have a feeling that Pope Francis is a heritic, just a feeling.

  • Ever since I met a leftist for the first time, I’ve known that they only lead you to hell with their banal, mocking attitudes.

    They seem so smart until you realize they’re just godless and miserable.

  • You don’t even realize what a typical fool you are.

    Everything you mention was cultural and specific to a particular kingdom, none of it doctrinal or liturgical.

    You know what else we wouldn’t have without those bad old Christians? Your fat, easy modern life!!

  • Yess you are treated like the crazy aunt in the attic for 50 years but most of the people here should be treated like the aunt who was locked up for 2000 years …
    Isn’t it time to go back to the core of Christianity …
    Love one an other and be forgiving than to blindly follow writings that can be broadly interpreted and have been selected to be used for in-doctrine …
    Not all gosspel and writing got to the bible …

    Open your mind and think for yourself …
    What this Pope advocates is pure christianity, how come real christians
    have trouble agreeing ???

  • Indeed well said !

    What this Pope advocates is pure christianity, how come real christians
    have trouble agreeing ???

    Love one an other, be forgiving, take care of the misfortune, don’t exclude people even if you don’t agree with them, …

    What is there not to agree with ???

  • The video is garbage, and so are others like it. Obviously, you don’t do too much research. Change in words of Consecration and other parts of the Mass were because the translation was rushed and not the most accurate representation of the former Latin Rites. And you can see that the Church is going to change the meaning of Communion? Of course not, the Eucharist is the Body of Christ, that’s the way the church has taught for 2,000 years, that’s the way it will be until the end times. And your prophecy come true video, it’s too bad it doesn’t say how many hundreds of prophesies were complete bull. Maybe the ratio of lucky guesses to the erroneous prophesies would be nice.

  • Haha nice, the core of Christianity is the Catholic Church. You are saying go back to the roots, I totally agree with that, because the roots were all Christians living in one community, and celebrating Mass in the same way us Catholics do today. Roots of Christianity is Catholicism

  • Exactly, he is showing people that there is more to Catholicism than scandals and disagreements with liberal media. It’s impossible not to love him.

  • Sadly, you are wrong Deb. Christ established the Church upon the rock of Peter as I’m sure you know, but do you expect a small gathering of people living Jesus’ message would have survived without rules? Even the Apostles knew this and gathered in Jerusalem to discuss how to welcome Gentiles into Christianity. They didn’t just say all in favor say aye, they prayed for guidance from the Holy Spirit and fasted so that the Truth of the nature would be revealed to them. The same is for all councils that have been convened to establish Church “rules”.

  • The prejudice against Jesuits is unreasonable. They are one of the largest missionary groups, responsible for Catholicism in a diversity of places. He is not a modernist trying to change the Church, but a man who is attempting to correct the skewed perception the world has of the Catholic Church.

  • Many good men are misunderstood, especially if they rock the norm and established ways. The Pope recognizes on some level that his true responsibility is to God and not man. Leaders like this are few and far in between. He reminds me of Gabriel of Urantia ( who also rocks the status quo and does not compromise to lesser ways, but honors God first and foremost… reading about his life recently has been an eye opener for me.

  • I have been greatly disappointed with Pope Francis. I find him to offensive and the most radical Pope the Catholic Church has ever seen. Washing the feet of women Muslims was a slap in the face to the Apostles of Jesus Christ which St. Peter himself is one. Then Jews can be saved outside of Jesus Christ was another slap in the face to St. Stephen and other Martyrs who were killed by Jews for Evangelizing Jesus Christ’s Salvation to them. Then Athiests can go to Heaven if the have a good conscious never mind they don’t even believe God even exists and how can Athiests go there if they don’t want to. The Pope’s reference and Theology is a bit foolis. It is impossible for an Athiest to go to Heaven. We Catholics have many Popes proclaim it as Dogma and the teachings of the Church through Tradition. Jesus refers to it in the Gospels of the New Testament. Pope Francis is bound to the Dogmas of the past Popes. He can not change or he himself steps outside the Church. No Pope can just do anything out of the clear blue sky. He is only the Vicar of Christ. He can authorize governmental changes and changes in disciplines in the Church but he does not have the Authority to change Dogma. Past Popes made sure of that. Yet this Pope insists to cause Confusion in the Church and I believe it is well calculated. These are just not the off the cuff slap in the face statements and actions he professed against Catholic Tradition. Popes are only infallible in declaring a dogma of Faith and Morals. That is it. The Pope can’t un-dogma a Dogma of the Church he would than be a Heretic. The Catholic Church is in Crisis and I hope this Pope will stop sowing confusion with his radical actions and start defending the Dogmas of the Catholic Church instead being clown for the worlds media. The Pope did wear a Clowns nose for a photo op let’s hope he does not wear one during Holy Mass!

  • It is safe to judge Pope Francis Objectively as a Heretic even if he is a Pope! Subjectively only God can Judge Pope Francis because God only knows what is going on in his heart and mind that leads him to say and do such stupid things. Pope we can say he’s just a bad Pope. The Catholic Church has had bad Popes before some even border line Heretics. But so far the Catholic Church has not yet had a Heretic Pope. If a Catholic Pope is a Heretic Pope Pius IX says just don’t follow him. Continue with the Sacrements just Don’t Follow him the Lord knows when His Vicar is a Heretic and the Lord will judge him in Eternity!

  • I don’t know for sure what Pope Francis motive is good or bad, however though, it was prophecized by St. Malachay (1100’s) that Pope Francis will be the last Pope to take the papacy on earth. You are right about the coming of the demise of the church – as this is exactly the third and last secret revealed by Sister Lucia from the Virgin Mother herself. BELIEVING IN JESUS is what will save us all.

  • Wow canisius, if it were up to you the church would still be burning gays at the stake! Your so obsessed with history and tradition you’ve closed yourself off from the entire meaning of religion in the first place, to become closer with the creator. Who is a sinner to judge a sinner? That’s what you are, what we all are. God wants us to love and help eachother no matter what, period! Not throwing around opinions on who’s right and who’s wrong. God created many paths to become close to him, not just your path is right! Although it may be right for you. Your extreme judgemental nature is not in line with the lords message. Open your mind and your heart and you may be suprised what you find, about yourself, the world, and your relationship with the creator of all life in the universe.

  • Oh my god this guy is great. I really don’t know if he is serious or just trolling because obviously he is wrong and that’s really hard to say for faith related arguments. Someone must have some anger they are projecting cuz they can’t accept some feelings they have? With your outlook I am really not surprised no one has taken you down. He is clearly not loving the same god as everyone else….

  • Oh yeah that’s right, we don’t believe in demons anymore, any more than we believe in sin or hell. These concepts are so not relevant in the new intellectual Church.

  • I agree. Trojan horse analogy is accurate. The Vatican has been infiltrated for years, but not the “The Smoke of Satan” is going to burn the house down with false interpretations of the scripture and a new, but lifeless, sacraments. The new church will be protestant in substance, but catholic in flavor.

  • We need to remember Joan of Arc and Galileo Galilei. To speak one’s own truth can get you in big trouble in the Catholic Church of the past. The Church tries to say that Inquisitional and Crusader pogroms were not of its doing. But I have my doubts as to where the popes and the hierarchy of the time stood on repressing aberrant ideas. Some of the ideas were wrong but some were spot on such as those of Galileo. His life was greatly inconvenienced by the pope of his time.
    How welcome is in the Church to truths or the such as that very high percentages of American and European Catholics use birth control. Or that even now repressive governments in central and south America have the support of the hierarchy. Or that there may be a biological basis for homosexual orientation. The truth, whatever it is, is the truth although we may have to gather information to determine what it is. Sometimes religious and ethical thought only has a Yes and a No, when reality often involves in-between and a bell curve distribution of truths about a given issue.
    Can we not tolerate TRUTH and the discussion that can lead to the TRUTH?

  • Ever since I read your comments I realized that you are an angry, miserable a-hole, who hates not being able to push people around.

    Suck it up, it’s only gonna get worse for you.

  • “You don’t even realize what a typical fool you are.”

    “Get thee behind me, self-awareness!” cries Jacob.

  • How about saying we all worship the same god! How about there are different ways to get to heaven! I am a Catholic and think that Allah is not the same god and Jesus is the only way for salvation. I won t even begin to talk about his views on climate change or social justice . may our personal relationship with JESUS be all that matters!