Pope: U.S. Catholic Conservatives Have 'Suicidal Attitude'

Pope Francis, Sovereign of Vatican City State

Pope Francis, Sovereign of Vatican City State

Pope Francis has recently voiced strong criticism towards conservative factions within the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, characterizing their stance as a "suicidal attitude." This comment came during an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," set to air on Sunday, following a series of confrontations between the Pope and conservative elements in the U.S. church since his election in 2013.

Papal Critique of Conservative Attitudes

During the interview conducted on April 24, Pope Francis addressed the conservative backlash against his papacy, particularly from American clergy. He described conservatives as those who "cling to something and do not want to see beyond that," which he argued is detrimental to the church's progress and adaptability. According to a CBS transcript excerpt, the Pope elaborated, "Because one thing is to take tradition into account, to consider situations from the past, but quite another is to be closed up inside a dogmatic box."

Historical Context of Clashes

Since ascending to the papacy, Pope Francis has often found himself at odds with the conservative wing of the church, especially in the United States. Key points of contention include his efforts to foster a more inclusive attitude towards the LGBT community and his initiatives to increase the involvement of lay people in church governance. These reforms have been met with resistance from conservatives who view them as departures from traditional church doctrines.

Recent Actions Against Conservative Critics

Pope Francis has taken notable steps against his critics within the church. Last year, he dismissed a conservative U.S. bishop who had been a vocal opponent of his papacy. Additionally, he stripped a conservative American cardinal of certain Vatican privileges. These actions underscore the ongoing tension and the Pope's commitment to addressing what he perceives as an overly rigid adherence to tradition among some U.S. church leaders.

Pope Francis's remarks on the "suicidal attitude" of U.S. Catholic conservatives highlight a significant and ongoing ideological divide within the Roman Catholic Church. His critique reflects broader efforts to balance respect for tradition with the need for adaptation and openness in a rapidly changing world. As the Pope continues to implement his vision for a more inclusive and dynamic church, the response from conservative factions will likely remain a pivotal aspect of his papacy.


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