Pope laments ‘reactionary attitudes’ in US Church

Pope repeats call to negotiate in Ukraine, Gaza
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Pope Francis lamented the “strong reactionary attitude” of some Catholics in the United States who refuse to embrace change in the Church, in comments published Monday.

The 86-year-old pontiff was speaking to Jesuits in Lisbon during World Youth Day on August 5, but his comments have only now been made public in the magazine Civilta Cattolica.

One Jesuit asked the pope about criticism of his own leadership by some senior American Catholics, many of whom complain Francis is not outspoken enough on abortion and too compassionate towards homosexuals and divorcees.

“You have seen that in the United States the situation is not easy: there is a very strong reactionary attitude,” Francis replied.

“I would like to remind those people that ‘indietrismo’ (being backward-looking) is useless and we need to understand that there is an appropriate evolution in the understanding of matters of faith and morals…”

He cited as an example slavery — “some pontiffs before me tolerated it, but things are different today”.

“When you go backward, you form something closed, disconnected from the roots of the Church and you lose the sap of revelation,” he continued.

In addition, “you can lose the true tradition and turn to ideologies for support”.

The pontiff repeated that the Church should be open to everyone, specifically talking about LGBTQ people.

“It takes a lot of sensitivity and creativity to accompany people spiritually and pastorally. But everyone, everyone, everyone is called to live in the Church: never forget that,” he said.

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