April 20, 2024

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Pope criticizes “reactionary” conservative elements in the American Catholic Church

Pope Francis has spoken out against what he called the “reactionary” nature of the more conservative elements in the American Catholic Church, arguing that some are replacing faith with ideology.

Speaking earlier this month at a private meeting with Portuguese members of the Jesuit Order, of which he is also a member, Pope Francis said some “American groups” were “isolating themselves”.

He continued, “Instead of living by faith, by true faith that is always developing and bearing fruit, they live by ideologies.” “When you give up belief in life to replace it with ideology, you have lost, you have lost as you have lost in war.”

Some conservative Catholics in the United States have been highly critical of the pope during his decade-long papacy, opposing his positions on some theological and social issues, such as the environment and immigration.

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The text of the meeting was August 5 published In the Jesuit magazine La Civilta Cattolica published by the Associated Press reports It is checked by the Vatican.

During the conversation, a member of the order who spent a year in the United States said he was troubled by criticism of the pope’s leadership, even among bishops.

The pope replied that the situation in the United States was “not easy”. “There is a very strong reactionary attitude. It is structured and shapes the way people relate, even emotionally.

He also warned against those who he said were breaking away from the “roots of the Church” by “stepping back”.

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This is not the first time that the pope has responded to criticism from conservatives within the American Church. in 2019When asked about the criticism of conservative commentators, he said, “It is an honor to be attacked by the Americans.” A Vatican spokesman later sought to clarify that the pope “was speaking in an informal context in which he wanted to say that he always considered criticism an honour”.

Among Francis’ main critics in the US is Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, a figure who often made headlines before he was demoted in 2014. Reuters news agencyBurke recently wrote that the key meeting of bishops to discuss the church’s future, scheduled for October, threatens to sow “confusion, error and division”.

After a decision by the pope in April, women will be able to vote in a synod of bishops for the first time in the assembly, with 70 non-bishops appointed to vote – half of whom are women. Women may not be ordained as deacons, priests, or bishops in the Catholic Church.

The Vatican document was issued in June He said That the Synod discuss how to make the Church more welcoming to gay and divorced people.

Another point of contention for some Catholics came in 2021, when Francis reimposed restrictions on the use of the Latin language in Mass, which has increasingly become a symbol of conservative protest within the American church.

These Americans are faithful to the old Latin Mass. They are also at odds with Pope Francis.