Pope Francis criticized conservative elements within the U.S. Catholic Church, accusing them of replacing faith with ideology and being resistant to change. His comments highlight the divisions within the Church, especially on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Francis emphasized social justice concerns and has faced criticism for his stance on divorced and remarried Catholics receiving sacraments. He made these remarks during a private meeting with Portuguese Jesuits, acknowledging the existence of a “strong, organized, reactionary attitude” in the U.S. church, which he called “backward” and warned against, emphasizing the importance of a more evolving understanding of faith and morals.
The Associated Press:
Pope Francis has blasted the “backwardness” of some conservatives in the U.S. Catholic Church, saying they have replaced faith with ideology and that a correct understanding of Catholic doctrine allows for change over time.
During the meeting, a Portuguese Jesuit told Francis that he had suffered during a recent sabbatical year in the United States because he came across many Catholics, including some U.S. bishops, who criticized Francis’ 10-year papacy as well as today’s Jesuits.
The 86-year-old Argentine acknowledged his point, saying there was “a very strong, organized, reactionary attitude” in the U.S. church, which he called “backward.” He warned that such an attitude leads to a climate of closure, which was erroneous.
“Doing this, you lose the true tradition and you turn to ideologies to have support. In other words, ideologies replace faith,” he said.
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