Pope Francis may have undaunting shoes to fill after his predecessor, Pope Benedict, became the first Pope to resign in half a millennia, but many of his supporters are hoping to make it two in a row.
Pope Francis’s three-year-old papacy, marked by controversy from the beginning, has hit a new low.
After Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to succeed Pope Benedict XVI in 2013, he quickly justified his reputation as an unconventional character who put himself on both sides of an argument with vaguely worded pronouncements.
From his “Who am I to judge?” statement on gay people that seemed to offer a hint at a change in church teaching, to his fumbles on contraception, to his recent claim that Donald Trump is not Christian, his off-the-cuff remarks cause headlines across the globe, often followed by some sort of “clarification” from the Holy See Press Office.
His papacy has been a litany of confusing statements for the faithful on the most sensitive and delicate topics. While clear on political topics dear to his heart, but where Catholics can legitimately hold differing opinions, such as immigration, economics and climate change, on matters of doctrine, Francis muddied the waters to an extent that many well-meaning Catholics feel they no longer know where the Church stands on issues of faith.
Most recently, in his latest off-the-cuff ramble on Thursday, he was asked about marriage. He said:
“It’s provisional, and because of this the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null. Because they say ‘yes, for the rest of my life!’ but they don’t know what they are saying. Because they have a different culture. They say it, they have good will, but they don’t know.”
To say that the “great majority” of Catholic marriages are null, or invalid, is a statement that is neither true, wise, nor fair. The Vatican has since toned down his remarks in the written transcript to say “a part of our sacramental marriages are null,” in apparent recognition of the damage Francis’s statement might cause.
For a “pope of the people” he certainly doesn’t give Catholics much credit. For a Catholic marriage to be valid all that is needed is the freedom to marry, consent from both parties, and the intention to marry for life and be open to children. That’s it.
The calls for resignation don’t come as much of a surprise, of course. After he claimed Jesus failed during his ultimate sacrifice, reversed the Chruch’s stance on gay sin, and advocated for an increase in Muslim birthrates in Europe, it was only a matter of time.
Source: Fox News