Conservative Catholics Not Liking the New Pope


The New York Times reports on conservative American Catholics who are quite upset with Pope Francis and his decidedly more liberal views (at least within the context of the church). As he clearly tries to push the church away from a focus on gays and abortion and toward an ethos of helping the less fortunate, the theo-cons are displeased.

They were shocked when they saw that Francis said in the interview that “the most serious of the evils” today are “youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old.” It compounded the chagrin after he said in an earlier interview that he had intentionally “not spoken much” about abortion, same-sex marriage or contraception because the church could not be “obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines.”

Steve Skojec, the vice president of a real estate firm in Virginia and a blogger who has written for several conservative Catholic websites, wrote of Francis’ statements: “Are they explicitly heretical? No. Are they dangerously close? Absolutely. What kind of a Christian tells an atheist he has no intention to convert him? That alone should disturb Catholics everywhere.”

In an interview on Friday, Mr. Skojec said he was overwhelmed by the positive response to his blog from people who said they were thinking the same things but had not wanted to say them in public. He said he had come to suspect that Francis is a “self-styled revolutionary” who wants to change the church fundamentally.

“There have been bad popes in the history of the church,” Mr. Skojec said. “Popes that murdered, popes that had mistresses. I’m not saying Pope Francis is terrible, but there’s no divine protection that keeps him from being the type of guy who with subtlety undermines the teachings of the church to bring about a different vision.”

If there’s one thing the Catholic Church needs, it’s a different vision. I’m obviously never going to agree with a pope, any pope, about all that much. But I find Francis refreshing, especially after the ghoulish and repressive Pope Palpatine. This is obviously a man who has been influenced by liberation theology, which has always been a much more palatable version of Catholicism than the authoritarian version favored by Ratzinger and his stooges.

Comments

  1. Melvosh says

    So a message of helping those less fortunate = heresy. I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition…

  2. Artor says

    Huh. So conservative Catholics don’t trust the new Pope, and explicitly deny the idea of Papal infallibility? Wow, I never thought I’d agree with conservative Catholics about anything. Curiouser & curiouser.

  3. beezlebubby says

    By some accounts, RCC church attendance is up in the western world since Francis took over. Clearly, rank-and-file Catholics are far more liberal than they’re given credit for. Certainly, most American Catholics aren’t anything at all like Bill Donohue and his ilk. You’d think these conservatives would look at the data and start to question their own beliefs. But if modern conservatism stands for anything, it is the disregard of data, science, and reality itself.

  4. Reginald Selkirk says

    You’d think these conservatives would look at the data and start to question their own beliefs.

    Uh, why? Be cause their brand of theocracy is not popular? What does popularity have to do with Truth?

  5. hunter says

    I think your first sentence sort of lays it out: “The New York Times reports on conservative American Catholics. . . .”

    It’s nice to see the NYT being so concerned about the poor, abandoned conservative Catholics. What about the other 75% of American Catholics?

  6. says

    Now, look, everybody knows that today’s most serious evils are ladyparts and gay so-called “rights”. And also whatever “twerking” is. That the New Pope is focusing on things like not ladyparts and not gay so-called “rights” proves that he doesn’t believe in the real message of Our Lord*, and that the Vatican needs to bring back Pope Classic.
    Instead of being coddled by The Church, unemployed youth should pull up their bootstraps and go out and get one of the many jobs that don’t exist, and lonely old people should contemplate the coming darkness alone, away from their children who’ve abandoned them, as Jesus intended.

     

    * “If other peoples’ eyes offend you, use the power of State to crush them” saith the Lord…

  7. Nick Gotts says

    This is obviously a man who has been influenced by liberation theology

    No, he is not, unless you count reaction to it, if we can go by his past. As head of the Jesuit order in Argentina, he collaborated with the vicious military junta of the 1970s, a collection of fascistic torturers and murderers, going so far as to give public* communion to its head, Jorge Videla. He has close links to the movement “Communion and Liberation”, which despite its deceptive name, is diametrically opposed to liberation theology; it has been described as an “Integralist” (i.e. clerical fascist or theocratic Catholic) organization.

    *I’ve seen it argued that he had to give Videla communion if he asked for it. But he most certainly did not have to do it in public.

  8. says

    But I find Francis refreshing, especially after the ghoulish and repressive Pope Palpatine.

    Oh please. EVERY pope is hailed by the media as a “breathof fresh air” — including Pope Palpadict. It’s just as traditional as the smoke signals, HABEMUS PAPAM headlines, and crowd-blessing.

    This is obviously a man who has been influenced by liberation theology…

    “Obvious” how? Has he explicitly renounced JP-II’s (hypocritical) denunciations of Liberation Theology? Or is he just talking about something else now that the far-right’s battle has been won?

  9. raven says

    Conservative Catholics Not Liking the New Pope

    Now they know what the majority of US Catholics have felt since Pope John died in the mid late 20th century.

    I don’t know why the fundie Catholics are worried. The RCC has always been Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

    The priests pretend to have something worthwhile to say. The members pretend to listen to it.

  10. hexidecima says

    it’s delicious to watch TrueCatholics second-guessing their Pope and thus their god since per their nonsense, this man is the direct line to the divine.

  11. dshetty says

    What kind of a Christian tells an atheist he has no intention to convert him?
    A smart one who recognizes the likelihood of the opposite happening.

  12. raven says

    It’s no big deal if fundie Catholics don’t like the new Pope.

    People leave the RCC often. 10% of the US population are ex-Catholics. In the most recent exodus, 1/3 left, 22 million people. Half went Protestant, some mainline, some evangelical.

    Or they can form their own schismatic sect. There are large numbers of those floating around the USA. These are the groups that long for the Dark Ages, when heretics, witches, and Protestants could be burned at the stake and women knew their place, barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.

    One of the more prominent ex-Catholics, at least for the next 15 minutes is….Sarah Palin. It turns out the poster person for Oogedy Boogedy death cult xianity is an apostate and heretic from the RCC.

  13. dingojack says

    Oh Modus – if we ever meet I’m so gonna teach you what twerking is*
    Dingo
    ——–
    * I’m warming up ‘Buster’ as I type…. (Ya didn’t think I meant me personally, surely) :D

  14. typecaster says

    There have been several mentions of Papal infallibility, mostly misstating the actual Catholic position. No one thinks that Popes are infallible in everything they say. Although the idea that Popes were infallible was widely held in the Middle Ages, it wasn’t official Catholic dogma until 1870. The Pope is only considered infallible when speaking ex cathedra on matters of faith and morals, and has only been invoked twice in the mid to late 19th century. The first time was to confirm the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and the other was to confirm the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary. There haven’t been any instances of infallibility being invoked in the 20th or 21st centuries so far. I’m mentioning it only because there’s so many, many true things that we can use to make fun of these guys that it seems like a waste of effort to make fun of the incorrect things.

  15. Trebuchet says

    Thank you, typecaster. You explained that better than I was about to and saved me having to look it up.

  16. Chiroptera says

    What kind of a Christian tells an atheist he has no intention to convert him?…There have been bad popes in the history of the church,” Mr. Skojec said. “Popes that murdered, popes that had mistresses.

    Heh. Not attempting to convert an atheist is just like murdering people.

  17. Michael Heath says

    Ed writes:

    . . . conservative American Catholics who are quite upset with Pope Francis and his decidedly more liberal views (at least within the context of the church).

    I’d constrain your observation to the upper hierarchy of the church, from the bishops upwards. The priests, nuns, and congregants do not earn the conservative title but instead are spread across the political spectrum.

    Ed writes:

    If there’s one thing the Catholic Church needs, it’s a different vision.

    I think what the Catholic Church needs more than that is for all Catholics to abandon their faith and leave the church. Reform is a distant second.

  18. dugglebogey says

    I see that “Papal Infallibility” was a GREAT idea until a pope said something you don’t like…Way to go Catholics!

  19. typecaster says

    Modus – The missionaries mostly didn’t mention infallibility until much later in the program. They thought it made them sound silly.

  20. Moggie says

    It’s about time for an American antipope, don’t you think? It’s pretty un-American for your Catholics to submit to some furriner. Plus the Anti-Vatican would pull in major tourist dollars.

  21. raven says

    It’s about time for an American antipope, don’t you think?

    There is an American Pope already. He’s in the American Vatican, Salt Lake City.

    Thankfully, it hasn’t worked out very well.

  22. reddiaperbaby1942 says

    I’ve always liked the story by Boccaccio: in the Middle Ages, a Christian (they were all Catholics then, though some of them were “heretics”) wants to convert a Jew. The Jew says he’s going to go to Rome to see what the Church is like. The Christian gets worried; he knows that Rome is full of corruption and he thinks his friend will be put off by this. The Jew comes back and tells him he’s decided to convert: if a Church can be this corrupt and evil, and still survive, it must be right.
    (It’s a long timer since I read Boccaccio, but I was reminded of this story by a recent review in the NYRB.)

  23. says

    reddiaperbaby: My dad used to say that the proof of the Catholic Church’s divinity is that it has existed for so long despite the damn fools who’ve run it.

  24. says

    “This is obviously a man who has been influenced by liberation theology, which has always been a much more palatable version of Catholicism than the authoritarian version favored by Ratzinger and his stooges.”

    As previously stated by others, Frankie’s embrace of liberation theology is not evident to most of his former flock in Juntastan.

    The Overton Window, now available in both clear and stained glass.

  25. busterggi says

    16

    dingojack
    November 14, 2013 at 11:39 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment
    Oh Modus – if we ever meet I’m so gonna teach you what twerking is*
    Dingo
    ——–
    * I’m warming up ‘Buster’ as I type…. (Ya didn’t think I meant me personally, surely) :D

    hey, leave me out of this!

  26. otrame says

    For fun, check out “The Vortex” show by Michael Voris–five time winner of the Worst Rug On YouTube Award. He first came to my attention by advocating a Catholic Monarchy for the US (though it looks like he’s taken that one down). He thinks the US conference of bishops are a bunch of leftist fags. I go over and watch a couple every now and then. He cheers me up somehow.

  27. tbp1 says

    While this pope may be a little better than the previous two (although that’s definitely damning with faint praise), it’s not like he announced any actual changes in the grotesquely anti-human RCC doctrines about almost everything connected with sex, sexuality or gender that you could name, he’s just saying he’s not going to talk about them as much as his predecessors. Until there’s some actual substantive change, he still flunks, just maybe by not quite so large a margin.

  28. John Hinkle says

    @ raven

    There is an American Pope already.

    You mean Father Guido Sarduci? For a few bucks you can get a pope gown and hat.

  29. Iain Walker says

    Apparently Bergoglio’s sending out questionnaires to get feedback from lay Catholics about how they regard the Church’s teachings on abortion, homosexuality, divorce etc. If I’m skeptical about this actually going anywhere, it’s because Bergoglio shows all the signs of being a moderate conservative who merely wants to tinker with presentation and points of emphasis. His apparent commitment to economic justice may be welcome, but in most aspects of doctrine, he’s only slightly less regressive than Ratzinger. His attitude towards women and gays is still framed in the same tired gender-essentialist patriarchal twaddle.

    Mildly amusingly, Sarah Palin seems to find him quite baffling.

  30. says

    Heh, if they don’t like it, they can leave and become Protestants.

    That has, in fact, been the Church’s stock response to all criticism of its far-right lurch: they have their doctrine, their purpose in life is to promulgate their doctrine (just like it’s an advertizer’s job to push his client’s agenda), not to change with the times (a.k.a. “relativism”), and those who don’t like it have no choice but to leave. Which is yet another reason why the Church is incapable of responding to reality and tolerating dissenting views.

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