December 23, 2019
By Charlie Bradley
POPE FRANCIS has endured growing criticism from conservative figures in the Catholic Church as a result of his progressive papacy, but he made a statement of defiance on Saturday as he condemned his “rigid” opponents in the Vatican, accusing them of creating “hatred.”
In his message, Pope Francis warned faith is declining and the Church must adapt to ensure its message reaches people from all walks of life. He said: “Today we are no longer the only ones that produce culture, no longer the first nor the most listened to. “The faith in Europe and in much of the West is no longer an obvious presumption but is often denied, derided, marginalised and ridiculed.
“Here we have to beware of the temptation of assuming a rigid outlook. Rigidity that is born from fear of change and ends up disseminating stakes and obstacles in the ground of the common good, turning it into a minefield of misunderstanding and hatred.”
The statement comes amid persisting divisions in the Catholic Church, with conservative critics questioning the revolutionary papacy of Francis.
Influential figures in the Catholic Church have called out the Pope for allegedly promoting “idolatrous worship” for symbols of fertility after pan-Amazon bishops visited the Vatican in October.
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