September 23, 2023

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ROME — Pope Francis has blasted the “backwardness” of some conservatives within the U.S. Catholic Church, saying they’ve changed religion with ideology and {that a} right understanding of Catholic doctrine permits for change over time.

Francis’ feedback had been an acknowledgment of the divisions within the U.S. Catholic Church, which has been cut up between progressives and conservatives who lengthy discovered help within the doctrinaire papacies of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, notably on problems with abortion and same-sex marriage.

Many conservatives have blasted Francis’ emphasis as an alternative on social justice points such because the atmosphere and the poor, whereas additionally branding as heretical his opening to letting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics obtain the sacraments.

Francis made the feedback in a non-public assembly with Portuguese members of his Jesuit spiritual order whereas visiting Lisbon on Aug. 5; the Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica, which is vetted by the Vatican secretariat of state, printed a transcript of the encounter Monday.

Through the assembly, a Portuguese Jesuit advised Francis that he had suffered throughout a latest sabbatical 12 months in the USA as a result of he got here throughout many Catholics, together with some U.S. bishops, who criticized Francis’ 10-year papacy in addition to as we speak’s Jesuits.

The 86-year-old Argentine acknowledged his level, saying there was “a really robust, organized, reactionary perspective” within the U.S. church, which he known as “backward.” He warned that such an perspective results in a local weather of closure, which was misguided.

“Doing this, you lose the true custom and also you flip to ideologies to have help. In different phrases, ideologies exchange religion,” he mentioned.

“The imaginative and prescient of the doctrine of the church as a monolith is fallacious,” he added. “Whenever you go backward, you make one thing closed off, disconnected from the roots of the church,” which then has devastating results on morality.