Conservative Pushback against Pope Francis?

Has Pope Francis provoked a conservative Roman Catholic counter-revolution?

Tad Cronn asked awhile back if Pope Francis is the most dangerous man on the planet. It seems some conservative Roman Catholics might be seriously considering answering “yes” to that question. asks in a headline, “Is the Pope Facing Open Rebellion?

Pope Francis’ statements on everything from abortion to annulment have helped transform the public’s view of the Catholic Church. As for actual changes in Church policy, there have been few. Why? The pope is “grappling with a conservative backlash to the liberal momentum building inside the church,” reports the Washington Post. The paper speaks with seven senior church officials who say conservatives are keeping reformers from turning Francis’ words into doctrine. Francis’ allies argue the pope only hopes to stir up debate, rather than a revolution, noting “he has not predetermined where this is going.” But some Vatican conservatives have essentially declared open revolt: Websites focusing on Francis dissenters are springing up, conservative books are countering liberal ideas, and insiders are leaking information about Vatican reformers to the media, the Post reports.

So people raised Roman Catholic don’t jettison what they believe just because a new pope appears on the scene. That is somewhat gratifying, and it backs up Mark Horne’s point that conservative Roman Catholics are not going to start opposing the Republican platform just because the pope does on some issues.

I’m not sure why the pope’s “allies” think they are reassuring us when they claim Francis “has not predetermined where this is going.” Let me translate: The pope is going to push as far as he can. The only thing that loyal Roman Catholics can do is push back as hard as they can to minimize how far the pope goes.

The pope sometimes says helpful things, but he is obviously a socialist. Worse, his allies include pagan unbelievers. As Tadd Cronn wrote about Pope Francis’ hysterical claims regarding alleged “global warming,”

It turns out one of the sources of the bad advice guiding the pope these days is a German atheist who apparently nonetheless believes in Gaia, the living entity that comprises the Earth and all its systems and organisms.

 Hans Schellnhuber, professor of theoretical physics at the University of Potsdam and director of the Institute for Climate Impact, somehow got himself made an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and is now an adviser to Pope Francis on scientific matters, including the recent encyclical.

The Gaia Principle, which came of the seventies, holds that Earth and all life forms interact in such a way that they make one giant, self-regulating organism.

Rather than simply acknowledging the web of built-in feedback mechanisms that exists on planet Earth, the Gaia Principle holds that “Mother Earth” actually reacts in some sort of self-aware way to negative stimulation.

Jesus said you can’t serve two masters. Gaia is off limits to people who follow and serve Jesus. Many members of the pope’s church know this is true. It would be wonderful if the pope himself would realize what he is trying to do.

The story goes on to tell us that the pope’s favorability rating for conservative Roman Catholics descended from 72 percent last year to 45 percent in July. The issue is not only what the pope openly proclaims.

One Vatican official says “defending the real teachings of the church makes you look like an enemy of the pope.” “Catholic priests and bishops are saying and doing things that are against what the church teaches, talking about same-sex unions, about Communion for those who are living in adultery,” he notes. “And yet the pope does nothing to silence them. So the inference is that this is what the pope wants.”

Is it what Pope Francis wants? I don’t know. Perhaps this official is overreacting or exaggerating. But in light of the many statements of Pope Francis that seem to endorse a Liberal/Socialist agenda, it seems credible.