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Old Yesterday, 02:32 AM   #683746 / #1
Jobar
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Default Who hates Pope Francis most? Conservative Catholics

https://www.theguardian.com/news/201...t-pope-francis

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The crunch point has come in a fight over his views on divorce. Breaking with centuries, if not millennia, of Catholic theory, Pope Francis has tried to encourage Catholic priests to give communion to some divorced and remarried couples, or to families where unmarried parents are cohabiting. His enemies are trying to force him to abandon and renounce this effort.

Since he won’t, and has quietly persevered in the face of mounting discontent, they are now preparing for battle. Last year, one cardinal, backed by a few retired colleagues, raised the possibility of a formal declaration of heresy – the wilful rejection of an established doctrine of the church, a sin punishable by excommunication. Last month, 62 disaffected Catholics, including one retired bishop and a former head of the Vatican bank, published an open letter that accused Francis of seven specific counts of heretical teaching.

To accuse a sitting pope of heresy is the nuclear option in Catholic arguments. Doctrine holds that the pope cannot be wrong when he speaks on the central questions of the faith; so if he is wrong, he can’t be pope. On the other hand, if this pope is right, all his predecessors must have been wrong.

The question is particularly poisonous because it is almost entirely theoretical. In practice, in most of the world, divorced and remarried couples are routinely offered communion. Pope Francis is not proposing a revolution, but the bureaucratic recognition of a system that already exists, and might even be essential to the survival of the church. If the rules were literally applied, no one whose marriage had failed could ever have sex again. This is not a practical way to ensure there are future generations of Catholics.
It seems that the ones who approved of Benedict are not at all happy with Francis.

If he'd work on allowing priests to marry, even if it was after age 40 or older, I'd approve of him more myself. But I admit I sorta miss Benedict; his strong resemblance to the evil emperor in Star Wars was such a good joke!

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The Catholic church has spent much of the past century fighting against the sexual revolution, much as it fought against the democratic revolutions of the 19th century, and in this struggle it has been forced into the defence of an untenable absolutist position, whereby all artificial contraception is banned, along with all sex outside one lifelong marriage. As Francis recognises, that’s not how people actually behave. The clergy know this, but are expected to pretend they don’t. The official teaching may not be questioned, but neither can it be obeyed. Something has to give, and when it does, the resulting explosion could fracture the church.
Guess we can always hope, eh?

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The central dispute is between Catholics who believe that the church should set the agenda for the world, and those who think the world must set the agenda for the church. Those are ideal types: in the real world, any Catholic will be a mixture of those orientations, but in most of them, one will predominate.
Most perceptive, that.

Last edited by Jobar; Yesterday at 02:45 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 06:42 AM   #683753 / #2
Politesse
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The only surprise here is that Bergoglio/Francis was ever allowed to ascend to the throne of Peter in the first place with what must have been some powerful opposition. I approve of his open attitude, more befitting the whole church as it now exists.
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There is doctrinal resistance,” the Pope told a group of his fellow Jesuits at a meeting on Jan. 16, but “for the sake of mental health I do not read the websites of this so-called ‘resistance.’”
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Old Yesterday, 03:54 PM   #683754 / #3
Jobar
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I have no doubt that the conclave following Benedict's resignation would make for a really shocking novel of corruption and power politics in the Catholic Church, were all the back-room discussions known.

Personally I think that the conservative contenders for the Papacy probably all had scandals of one sort or another too closely tied to their coattails. Francis had a reputation of financial probity, and given the furor over the Vatican Bank, that overwhelmed any objections brought concerning his liberal theology and politics.

The man is in poor health; I understand he has only one lung. But I rather hope he has the time and drive left to shift the course of the Catholic Church in the way he appears to desire.
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Old Yesterday, 09:53 PM   #683758 / #4
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Originally Posted by Jobar View Post
Personally I think that the conservative contenders for the Papacy probably all had scandals of one sort or another too closely tied to their coattails. Francis had a reputation of financial probity, and given the furor over the Vatican Bank, that overwhelmed any objections brought concerning his liberal theology and politics.
We can only speculate.

It could be a case of old-fashioned, conventional politicking. One scenario: The conservative Cardinals are thoroughly faction-ridden. With no single faction powerful enough to take control and no faction prepared to vote for the leading light of another faction, they select someone who belongs to none of them, hoping that he is weak, ineffective and can be controlled by them. I think Claudius would have been analogous to that situation. He was actually regarded as a bit of an idiot when the powers that be settled on making him the next emperor.
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