Debate Magazine

Catholic Church Under Pope Francis: Critics Censored, Threatened with Excommunication

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

Since he was elected pope in 2013 (some say unlawfully, in violation of Papal Law No. 91), Jorge Bergoglio has evinced expansive good will toward many and sundry groups:

  • To homosexuals, he said with faux humility, “Who am I to judge?”.
  • To non-Catholic Christians, he emphasized “the unity of all believers in Christ”.
  • To Muslims, he held out an olive branch, claiming that Muslims and Christians both worship the same “one living and merciful God, and call upon him in prayer.”
  • Toward Jews, he recently said that “Catholics should not try to convert Jews and should work with them to fight anti-Semitism”.

Toward fellow Catholics, however, Bergoglio is much less charitable, regularly and frequently castigating them for one reason or another:

  • Oblivious to his own talkativeness, he castigates pastors for “talking too much“.
  • To nuns around the world, he admonished them not to be “old maids” (whatever that means) or use their vocations “for personal ambition”.
  • Commenting on a Philippine woman who was pregnant with her 8th child, Bergoglio acidly observed that being a good Catholic doesn’t mean we have to breed “like rabbits”.
  • He called gun manufacturers who are Christian “bad Christians,” seemingly unaware that were it not for gun makers, the Vatican’s Swiss Guards and Pontifical Gendarmerie would not have the arms to protect him.
  • Toward traditional or conservative Catholics, Bergoglio directs special disparagement, calling them “ideological Christians,” “rosary counters,” “restorationalists,” “Pelagians,” and self-absorbed promethean neopelagians” (whatever that means), among many other insults.

So it is curious, to say the least, that Pope Francis can dish it out but Heaven forbids if he’s the recipient.

Stephen Herreid reports for The Blaze, Oct. 5, 2015, that directly following the papal visit to the U.S., the editor of conservative Catholic journal First Things sacked a writer after she wrote a column critical of Pope Francis.

Referring to Maureen Mullarkey, the writer whom he fired, First Things editor R. R. Reno complains:

She consistently treats [Pope Francis] as an ideological propagandist, accusing him of reducing the faith to secular political categories. This is her way of reducing him to the political terms she favors … the ones used by radio talk-show hosts to entertain the public with mock-battles against various Empires of Evil. I don’t want First Things to play that game.

Read the article that got Maureen Mullarkey fired.

Herreid observes that “Nearly every word Reno wrote is straight out of a liberal playbook,” such as accusing conservatives of being lemming-followers of talk-radio hosts. “It may surprise some that such anti-conservative clichés would come from a conservative publication like First Things. But Pope Francis’ pontificate is having that effect on more and more Catholic publications.”

Herreid gives the following examples:

  1. Adam Shaw lost his position at Catholic News Service after writing a critique of Pope Francis’s economic opinions.
  2. Patrick Archbold was sacked from National Catholic Register when he complained Pope Francis was alienating traditionalists.
  3. Herreid himself was told to leave a Catholic publication after writing articles with a “tone” of “judgment” out of line with Pope Francis’s message of “welcome.”

Herreid points out Pope Francis himself has sidelined members of the Catholic clergy who are traditionalists, notably Cardinal Raymond Burke, who opposed Francis at the beginning of the Synod on the Family in 2014.

Archbishop Salvatore

Archbishop Salvatore “Rino” Fisichella with Pope Francis

Jorge Bergoglio is so thin-skinned that one of his appointees, Archbishop Salvatore “Rino” Fisichella, who is president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, says you may be automatically excommunicated for criticizing the pope.

Voice of the Family reports that on December 4, 2015, while explaining how Pope Francis’s new “Missionaries of Mercy” will operate, Archbishop Fisichella made reference to Canon Law 1370, which imposes automatic excommunication for “physical violence” against the pope. Fisichella told journalists at a briefing:

“I would say that we need to understand well ‘physical violence,’ because sometimes words, too, are rocks and stones, and therefore I believe some of these sins, too, are far more widespread than we might think.”

In other words, whereas priests who openly advocate homosexuality and “gay” marriage are not excommunicated, if a Catholic criticizes Pope Francis and the criticism is construed as “verbal violence,” not only has the critic committed a sin, the sin is of such egregiousness that the individual could be automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

All this from the pope who, in his address to Congress, pontificated against “The simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and the sinners.”

So much for Pope Francis’ more “welcoming” Church, “culture of encounter,” and the much-celebrated Year of Mercy.

See also:

  • Radical homosexual priest appointed to Vatican says gay sex can express Jesus’ ‘self-gift
  • The Rotten Fruits of Pope Francis: church schism, conservative rebellion, and approval of Iran nuke deal


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