10 Years of Conservative Resistance to Pope Francis’ Leadership and Agenda

Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash

In an article featuring Nichole Flores, NCR’s Brian Fraga writes:

Pope Francis’ 10 years on the chair of St. Peter have been marked in large part by persistent criticisms and tenacious resistance from the conservative wing of the Catholic Church, particularly in the Anglophone world, where formerly ardent papal defenders have lashed out against the current pontiff in ways once thought unthinkable….

From 2014 to 2016, experts said, conservative Catholic resistance to Francis began to crystallize, especially in 2015 when the pontiff wrote “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home,” his encyclical on environmental issues that acknowledged that fossil fuel emissions are primarily responsible for climate change.

Laudato Si’ spurred objections because the critics saw Francis taking part in globalism and a population control agenda,” said Mike Lewis, a former communications official for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Lewis founded the Where Peter Is blog in February 2018 to defend Francis from what he saw as a growing chorus of unfair attacks on the pope and his teachings….

More recently, conservative Catholic media outlets, including EWTN, have spotlighted papal critics who warn that the 2021-23 Synod of Bishops on synodality represents “a hostile takeover” of the Catholic Church.

“Early on, I was a little stunned at the level of resistance, in part because I was under the impression that our more conservative sisters and brothers within the church had a higher view of papal authority than other Catholics,” said Flores.

She added that she was “disabused of that pretense” as time went on.

“The arguments that we must obey papal authority in every and all cases, those were thin arguments and perhaps not the crux of what the matter really was in the more contentious cultural war issues within the church,” Flores said….

Viganò called on the pope to resign, and several U.S. bishops issued statements vouching for the former ambassador’s personal integrity. None of those bishops — including Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley, the current secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — has publicly retracted his support, even though there has been no evidence to support Viganò’s claims. The former ambassador has since descended into issuing conspiratorial manifestos linking COVID-19 vaccines with global elites’ ambitions for a one-world government.