Pope says he’s not afraid of a schism in the Catholic Church

Pope says he’s not afraid of a schism in the Catholic Church

Pope Francis says he is not afraid of a schism within the Catholic Church, even as he confronts criticism from conservative Catholics about his leadership.

“I pray that there will not be schisms,” the Pope said Tuesday, “but I am not afraid.”

The Pope’s remarks came in response to a question from a journalist at a press conference aboard the papal plane. Francis was returning to Rome from Africa, where he spent six days in Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius.

A schism is a formal break within the church, usually due to disputes over Catholic teaching.

“There have been many schisms in the Church,” Francis said, referring to the institution’s long history of religious disputes.

Last Wednesday, on the outbound flight to Africa, Pope Francis said it’s an “honor” when traditionalist American Catholics attack him.

But the criticism of Francis isn’t only coming from the United States, the Pope said on Tuesday.

“They are a little bit everywhere, even in the Curia,” he said, referring to the Vatican’s bureaucracy.

“At least those who criticize have the honesty to say it. I like that. I don’t like it when the criticisms are under the table and they smile and show their teeth and then there is a knife in the back. This is not loyal, this is not human.”

Francis also defended himself against accusations by some conservative Catholics that he is too liberal, saying that he is in line with other Popes like John Paul II.

“The Pope is too communist,” Francis said, paraphrasing some conservative sentiment against him.

“The social things that I said are the same that John Paul II said,” referring to the social teachings of the church on topics like economics, politics and the environment.

Francis suggested that some of those who attack him may have psychological problems and should be treated kindly.

“When you see rigid Christians, bishops, priests, you know there are problems there,” he said. “We need to be gentle with these people and accompany them.”

During his 10 days in Africa, the Pope focused mainly on three themes at the heart of his papacy: combating poverty, environmental degradation and political corruption.


When the “Victims” Strike Back

A lot of terms were used to describe the man that opened fire on Republicans members of Congress at their baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday.  “Bernie Sanders supporter”, “left wing extremist”, “disturbed”, and “troubled” were the most common used by those investigating the matter, those who were among the targets and those who…

Less Than Compelling

Usually us curmudgeons like to go on and on about how sports, music and movies were better in “our day”.  I think that you can add Congressional hearings to that list as well.  That’s what I was thinking during both the James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions testimony the last couple of weeks.  While…

Un-settling the Science

While James Comey was sucking up all the oxygen in the room, there was a pretty major science announcement last week.  It turns out that the human species might be much older than we originally thought.  Fossils found in Morocco place our earliest ancestors on the planet as far back as 350-thousand years ago.  Until…

Open Week

Welcome to US Open week here in Wisconsin.  Many of you will be venturing down to Erin (or Hartford or Richfield–I’ve seen all three used to describe the location of the course in stories) for practice rounds the next three days–or for the competitive rounds Thursday through Sunday (and possibly Monday–more on that later).  Here…