(ReclaimingAmerica.net) – In a move that has angered many social conservatives, Pope Francis blasted conservative Catholics in the United States because of their “backwardism” and “very strong reactionary attitude” to church teaching changes.
According to the head of the Roman Catholic Church worldwide, “backward” American Catholics are now replacing faith with ideology.
Francis’s comments were made during a private meeting on August 5 in Lisbon, Portugal, with local members of the church’s Jesuit religious order. A transcript of the meeting was released on Monday by the Jesuit journal “La Civilta Cattolica.”
The pope was reacting to the story of a Portuguese Jesuit who was in the US recently. National Review reports that he met many Catholics, some of them bishops, opposing the Vatican’s current policies.
“The situation is not easy in the United States where there is a very strong reactionary attitude. It is organized and shapes how people belong, even emotionally,” Francis responded.
“I would like to remind those people that ‘backwardism’ is useless and we need to understand that there is an appropriate evolution in the understanding of matters of faith and morals,” the pope said during the Lisbon event, which celebrated World Youth Day.
He insisted that the Catholic Church’s doctrine was “always progressing,” with other sciences helping it grow.
“The view of Church doctrine as monolithic is erroneous. The problems that moralists have to examine today are very serious, and to deal with them they have to take the risk of making changes,” he said, as cited by Breitbart News.
The head of the Vatican observed that there could be a “climate of closure” in some situations in the US, which referred to “conservative or traditional Catholics,” according to the report.
Francis also argued that the Catholic Church should focus more on other sins and less on “sins of the flesh.”
“It is clear that today the issue of homosexuality is very strong, and the sensitivity in this regard changes according to historical circumstances,” he said.
“What I don’t like at all, in general, is that we look at the so-called ‘sin of the flesh’ with a magnifying glass, just as we have done for so long for the sixth commandment… I am not afraid of sexualized society. No, I am afraid of how we relate to it,” Francis declared.