Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Vatican City: Francis marks 5 years as pope amid love, disenchantment


Francis frequently downplays the work of theologians, and his critics have flagged his cautious opening to allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion as a sign that dogma under the Church’s first Jesuit pope is adrift.

Pope Francis greets Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI during a visit with new cardinals
Times of Ahmad | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: The Washington Post
By Nicole Winfield / AP | March 13 at 2:58 PM

Pope Francis marked his fifth anniversary as pope Tuesday by receiving votes of confidence from his predecessor and current Vatican No. 2, even as surveys showed his reform-minded papacy was turning off some of the most faithful, church-going Catholics.

First out of the gate to give him thumbs-up was Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, whose historic resignation paved the way for Francis’ election on March 13, 2013.

In a letter released on the eve of Francis’ anniversary, Benedict publicly dismissed as “foolish prejudice” the opinions of critics who say Francis has no theological heft and represents a rupture from Benedict’s papacy.

Benedict said a new Vatican-curated volume of books on Francis’ theology “shows Pope Francis is a man of profound philosophical and theological training and helps to see the interior continuity between the two pontificates, with all the differences in style and temperament.”

Francis frequently downplays the work of theologians, and his critics have flagged his cautious opening to allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion as a sign that dogma under the Church’s first Jesuit pope is adrift.

Francis’ supporters insist he is in complete harmony with church teaching and Benedict’s doctrinaire papacy. They say Francis is merely emphasizing “discernment” to navigate complex pastoral situations.

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