One man speaking up because... Pope Francis
Written by Eric Sammons
An old friend recently wrote to take me to task for my criticism of Pope Francis. She said she was “in shock and almost traumatized” by my writings. She didn’t believe anyone could draw closer to Christ by reading such criticisms.
I can understand her feelings - no Catholic should *like* criticizing a pope. It should always be done with a heavy heart. And there is a danger of bitterness that turns people away from the Faith.
But here’s what I wrote back to her:
I was the Director of Evangelization for a diocese for five years, spanning the end of Pope Benedict’s pontificate and the beginning of Pope Francis’s. I witnessed firsthand the impact that Pope Francis is having on average Catholics, and it is not good.
• I saw Catholic mothers encourage their sons’ homosexuality...“because Pope Francis.”
• I saw Catholics engaged in adultery receive Holy Communion...“because Pope Francis.”
• I saw Catholics assert that it was wrong to evangelize...“because Pope Francis.”
• I saw Catholics denigrate big families...“because Pope Francis.”
These are only some examples. In short, I saw that Pope Francis was doing grave harm to souls by his words and actions (and inactions). At first, I kept quiet, because who am I to question the pope? But as time went on, I couldn’t keep silent anymore. I knew lax morality and conformity to the world wasn’t the narrow path to salvation. I knew souls were being lost in the confusion. In meditating on the Gospels, I saw Jesus was harshest in his condemnations toward religious leaders who lead people astray. I realized that by keeping silent, I was enabling the harm being done to souls.
So I decided to speak up.
Since then, I’ve heard from many Catholics who have also been uneasy with Pope Francis and were glad to hear someone else express it publicly. They knew in their hearts that much of what he says and does is contrary to authentic Catholicism, but didn’t understand how that could be possible for a pope. Of course, I’ve studied Church history extensively and I know many popes in the past have fallen short of their calling, and I thank God for saints like St. Paul and St. Catherine who weren’t afraid to speak up in those situations. The Catholics who contacted me drew closer to Christ because they were encouraged to cling to Catholic teaching as found in Scripture and Tradition instead of following the latest odd statements by the Holy Father.
Our Lord said he is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”. One cannot grow closer to him by ignoring the Truth or letting falsehood abound. We are in a difficult time in the Church’s history - a battle is going on for souls. I choose to enter that battle and do all I can to bring souls to Christ.
See more of Eric's writing at Swimming Upstream