Much as Joe Biden has been labeled a fake president, Pope Francis is routinely labeled a false pope by American conservatives. I learned a long, long time ago to be skeptical of people whose main complaint about Catholicism is that it just isn’t mean enough. These are people who believe the Jesus of mercy and justice is a weakling, and should be ignored. They prefer to concentrate instead on judging others. Via the Associated Press:
ROME (AP) — 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.
Francis’ comments were an acknowledgment of the divisions in the U.S. Catholic Church, which has been split between progressives and conservatives who long found support in the doctrinaire papacies of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, particularly on issues of abortion and same-sex marriage.
Many conservatives have blasted Francis’ emphasis instead on social justice issues such as the environment and the poor, while also branding as heretical his opening to letting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics receive the sacraments.
Because everyone knows that Jesus was a real stickler for the letter of the law, amirite?