Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 28 October |
The Feast of Saints Simon and Jude Thaddeus
Aleteia logo

Is Francis too radical for his flock?

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 08/01/13

That’s the provocative question at the heart of this piece from Foreign Policy: 

While the Church still regards homosexual acts as sinful, no previous pope has offered a “who am I to judge?” response to the question of what to do with gay priests.

Indeed, under the reign on Francis’s immediate predecessor, Benedict XVI, top church officials frequently blamed gay priests for the terrible sexual abuse crisis afflicting the church worldwide. Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana even suggested the church could benefit from the some of the anti-gay prejudice seen in his country, echoing similar sentiments expressed by churchmen in the U.S. In this context, Francis’s comments about gay priests mark him as a very different leader who may be heralding the end of an era deep and abiding intolerance of homosexuality. (During his flight home Francis also said that the church needed a new theological perspective on the role and status of women. “Let us remember,” he said, “that Mary is more important than the bishop apostles, so women in the church are more important than bishops and priests.”)

In speaking so boldly, Francis risks alienating Catholics in the industrialized West who have supported conservative theology, doctrine, and leadership. This significant minority is energized by the fight against abortion and resistance to those who would welcome both women priests and an end to mandatory celibacy for clerics. They have loyally supported the church with donations and activism and can be expected to oppose any change in direction of the sort Francis has signaled. With his comments, Francis poses a challenge to those who felt comfortable with the conservative leadership they have known for more than a generation. But this constituency cannot sustain the church in the long term, and the church now needs a figure able to bridge the gap between its rightward movement and the reality that Westerners are leaving the church in droves. That problem requires a wily pope with the skill and charisma to pull off the high-wire balancing act of unifying these two disparate impulses. Could Francis be that man?

Read the rest. 

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
APPLE,APPLE TREE
J-P Mauro
How St. Jerome’s pun made an apple the “forbidden fruit”
2
VENERABLE SANDRA SABATTINI
Philip Kosloski
Meet Sandra Sabattini, a newly beatified 22-year-old
3
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
4 Steps of prayer to learn from today’s Gospel
4
devil
Philip Kosloski
Why Satan is known as the “accuser”
5
VON TRAPP FAMILY
John Burger
Member of the singing von Trapp family dies in Vermont
6
ARCHIVES MAISON MELLERIO
Marzena Devoud
The moving story of Marie Antoinette’s bracelet
7
GETAFE
Dolors Massot
Two sisters become nuns at the same time in Spain
See More