SchwartzReport: Is the Pope Catholic? Will the Pope be Assassinated? Which Pope and Why?

Civil Society, Cultural Intelligence
Stephan A. Schwartz
Stephan A. Schwartz

I have been waiting for this, the pushback from the conservatives within the Roman Church, whose views and power is threatened by this new pope. I just hope something doesn’t “happen” to Francis.

Is the Pope Catholic? Critics Rally Around Benedict As Talk of Schism Looms

Conservative Catholics, angry at Pope Francis’s more moderate tone, are bucking the Church’s hierarchy.


The possibility that Catholics who had divorced and remarried without receiving an annulment might be readmitted into full communion with the Church has made many apoplectic.

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But there’s a reason to pay attention to this particular breed of shrill complaint: there’s more than one Pope in town.

Benedict’s occasional but thoroughly traditional statements offer a painful reminder and glimmer of hope to conservative Catholics. Just last week, in written remarks read aloud at the Pontifical Urbanian University in Rome, Benedict wrote that interreligious dialogue “is no substitute for spreading the Gospel to non-Christian cultures.” Benedict’s arguments are expressed somewhat philosophically, but they are music to the ears of those tired of Francis’s soft embrace of atheists, aliens, and—worst of all—progressive social policies.

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What makes it even more absurd: Francis isn’t all that liberal. He cares profoundly and deeply about the poor, but he rarely speaks about supporting women, holds the line on contraception and abortion, and is only selectively pro-environment. In keeping with official Church teaching he believes in the reality of evolution, and in keeping with official Church teaching he believes in the power of exorcism. The Pope is Catholic, go figure.

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