Vatican Conservatives: Pope Francis Is MIA on Key Issues

Monday, 24 Feb 2014 06:36 PM

By Jim Meyers

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A leading Italian journalist with close ties to the Vatican conservative "old guard" is not among those who are singing the praises of the new Pope, Francis.

Sandro Magister writes for the magazine L'Espresso,  manages its website Chiesa, and is widely respected for his high-level sources within the Holy See.

Francis: Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.

In a recent article published on Chiesa, Magister acknowledges Francis' popularity nearly a year after his election, pointing to a Rolling Stone magazine cover story he contemptuously calls a "full-fledged coronation in the temple of pop culture."

But he writes: "It is not easy to enter into the mind of Pope Bergoglio. His words are like the tiles of a mosaic whose design is not immediately apparent. He also makes tough and biting remarks, but never at a moment in which they could generate conflict."

He states that Francis repeatedly says "the view of the Church is known, and I am a son of the Church."

Magister notes: "Sometimes he recalls this combatively for those who expect him to change doctrine, as in the least-cited passage of his 'Evangelii Gaudium,' where he has the harshest of words against the 'right' to abortion."

"But he never proclaims Church teaching out loud at a moment when the dispute over an issue has become heated."

For example, Magister suggests that leading Vatican clerics were disturbed that Francis had not spoken out against the euthanasia of children that is permitted by a new law in Belgium.

He also cited the lack of any papal support in favor of those in France and other countries who are opposing the "dissolution of the idea of the family made up of father, mother, and children."

The Pope has remained silent, Magister says, about a U.N. report that exalts the current pontiff but "humiliates" the Church, calling on the Vatican to "correct" its teachings on abortion, the family, and sex, according to Magister, who adds: "There is a Jacobin-style attack against the Church, not only in France, that simply wants to exclude it from civil discourse."

In contrast to Francis, his predecessor Benedict XVI "preferred conflict in the open field, with the courage of the 'yes' that means 'yes' and the 'no' that means 'no,'" the journalist also writes, citing Benedict's open discussion about the connection between faith and violence in Islam.

"This is why the world was so ferocious with him," Magister concludes. "With Francis it is different."

Francis: Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.

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