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I’m a Protestant, so I tend to stay out of the discussions of Catholicism on this site and elsewhere. On the other hand, as a devout Christian, I believe that the Catholic Church is very important to Christians worldwide; perhaps as Americans admire England because of our shared heritage and ethics, despite the fact that we split long ago.
Anyway, this post on Powerline is interesting to me. It shows that Catholic priests have been trending more politically conservative since Vatican II in the mid-1960s. The trend is profound — around 20% of Catholic priests described themselves as conservative in 1965 — now it’s over 80%. Steven Hayward thinks this is related to the influence of Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict, although Pope Francis has been the Pope for over 10 years now, and the trend toward conservatism among priests continues to this day.
Pope Francis famously said he would not be surprised if he were remembered as the Pope who split the church. Like President Obama who vowed to “fundamentally transform” America, Pope Francis has been clear from the beginning that there is much about the Catholic Church that should be changed. It would appear that others in the Catholic Church take a different view. Like the priests, for example. And there are over 400,000 Catholic priests worldwide.
Martin Luther felt that the Catholic Church was straying from the teachings of Jesus Christ, and he lashed out forcefully. He felt that he was a more faithful Catholic than the Pope and other leaders in the church. He wanted the Catholic Church to return to its original mission.
I really, really, really don’t want to discuss Martin Luther here, other than to acknowledge that there appears to be a similar movement of division within the Catholic Church today. When Pope Benedict voluntarily stepped down and Pope Francis replaced him as Pope, the highest leadership of the church lurched far, far to the left. But the church itself appears to be steadily moving to the right, despite the changes at the top.
I find that interesting.
I’m not Catholic, but I feel that the Catholic Church is very, very important to me and other Christians around the world. And the Catholic Church appears to be profoundly divided right now. I don’t see how this can continue. Pope Francis is a polarizing figure – even more so when over 80% of his priests are conservative.
I wonder what’s going to happen?
Despite the teachings of Robespierre, progressives remain enamored of revolution – they believe that they must destroy the status quo first, so they can build something better in its place. They know better than all the greatest thinkers of Western Civilization over the past 3,000 years, of course.
Does Pope Francis have similar plans as Wilson, Obama, Robespierre, Castro, Mao, and others? More importantly, is there a chance that Pope Francis could be successful? Many of his own priests seem skeptical.
How do you see this playing out over time?Published in