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Pope Francis Calls Out U.S. Faith Leaders Who Place Ideology Over Faith

Pope Francis Calls Out U.S. Faith Leaders Who Place Ideology Over Faith

Pope Francis is speaking out against the “backwardness” of some Christian leaders in the American Church, arguing they have replaced their faith with an ideology.

During a private meeting with Portuguese members of his Jesuit religious order, a member shared that he was disheartened by a recent sabbatical year in the U.S. because many Catholics, including bishops, openly criticized Francis’ tenure as pope. Many Catholic conservatives believe that Francis places too much emphasis on social justice issues, such as aiding the poor and protecting the environment, and not enough on doctrine.

Francis said there was “a very strong, organized, reactionary attitude” in the American church, arguing that many leaders have presented a “backward” faith.

“Doing this, you lose the true tradition and you turn to ideologies to have support,” he said. “In other words, ideologies replace faith.

“The vision of the doctrine of the church as a monolith is wrong,” he continued.  “When you go backward, you make something closed off, disconnected from the roots of the church.”

Francis then shared that the divisions would only cause further chaos, and the Catholic church should work together in order to move forward.

“I want to remind these people that backwardness is useless, and they must understand that there’s a correct evolution in the understanding of questions of faith and morals,” he said.

Francis’ statements echo other faith leaders’ beliefs about how the American Church must set aside ideologies and focus on remaining united as one body. Back in 2021, Bishop T.D. Jakes spoke with RELEVANT about how these ideologies have fractured the Church.

“We have slipped into our own traps and reinforced our own beliefs,” Jakes said. “We’re hitting gridlocks on things that we should come together on. We talk at each other, not to each other.”

Jakes argues that the first step to repairing the division in the Church is to listen to one another and find a common ground.

“There’s something gratifying to the human soul to know that you understood me,” Jakes said. “And I don’t think that we will accomplish that if we allow the things we create to replace the ones who created it.”

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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