Catholic ‘right wing’ not happy about Pope Francis

The “right wing” of the Catholic Church is not happy about the election of Pope Francis, according to Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia.

The archbishop, who is known for speaking plainly, made this comment in an interview with National Catholic Reporter correspondent John Allen during World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.

Allen had asked Archbishop Chaput if the initial enthusiasm for the new Pope would fade “when the honeymoon wears off”.

“This is already true of the right wing of the Church,” the archbishop said. “They generally have not been really happy about his election, from what I’ve been able to read and to understand. He’ll have to care for them, too, so it will be interesting to see how all this works out in the long run.”

Archbishop Chaput was asked whether there was a concern over the fact that Pope Francis had not used the words “abortion”, “gay marriage” or “euthanasia” in his first 120 days.

“He hasn’t expressed those things in a combative way, and perhaps that’s what some are concerned about,” he said, “but I can’t imagine that he won’t be as pro-life and pro-traditional marriage as any of the other popes have been in the past.”

Back in Philadelphia, the archbishop said, he had a sense that practising Catholics love Pope Francis and have a deep respect for him, “but they’re not actually the ones who really talk to me about the new Pope.

“The ones who do are non-practising Catholics or people who aren’t Catholic or not even Christian. They go out of their way to tell me how impressed they are and what a wonderful change he’s brought into the Church.”

Part of this enthusiasm, the archbishop thought, was “genuine appreciation for the Pope’s extraordinary friendliness and transparency.

“But also, I think they would prefer a Church that wouldn’t have strict norms and ideas about the moral life and about doctrine, and they somehow interpret the Pope’s openness and friendliness as being less concerned about those things.”


National Catholic Reporter

Image: CathNewsUSA

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