Pope Francis Issues Strong Warning Against the Christian Right

The pope states the obvious, but will it make a lasting difference?

via PolicyMic

Pope Francis has made yet another enemy today with his new statement on faith and ideology. During Wednesday’s mass, the Pope took serious issue with Christians who turn their religion into an ideology. He explained that Christianity becomes ideology when there is a lack of prayer. The Pope said that the “Christian ideology” is a sickness within the Church. He claims ideology makes people “hostile and arrogant,” frightens followers, and scares people away from the Church.

Undoubtedly, such words will anger many conservative Americans who are already feeling shunned by the Pope’s statements last month on contraception and abortion. Many fundamental Christians in America equate Christianity to their political ideology.

Political candidates often form their platforms based on their faith’s perspective on social issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and sex. Look no further than the race for governor in Virginia, where two Republican candidates are running faith-based campaigns. Yet for many wayward Catholics, the Pope’s words may be an invitation back to a Church slowly becoming once again recognizable.

At this point it is hard to know whether Pope Francis’s emphasis on a personal relationship with faith will create long-lasting change. His fresh perspective may become nothing more than a brief moment in the religion’s long, static history.


  • DeepCough

    Who the hell does this guy think he is, Jesus Christ?!

    • Anarchy Pony

      I think he likes to think of himself a Jesus’s homie.

  • Jeb Morningside

    And the comments are already full of “people” who think their political ideology makes them more holy than the pope…

    • echar

      I am a pope, Francis is a peer. For once I agree with him. There’s more popes here, card carrying even. Maybe they experience being holeyer, or wholier, but doubtfully holier.

    • DeepCough

      I like this pope, too–it’s gonna be a real shame when he suddenly “retires” or inexplicably “expires.”

  • believein1

    This guy doesn’t represent all Christians, only Catholics. He claims ideology..what else do you follow? The same guy that tries to rewrite the Bible and what it has always said, to be more politically correct. He needs to start his own religion, because he is definitely not Christian by practice, or definition.

    • denverover

      Matthew, 25:34-46……… you´ve got all the answers.

    • I_abide

      Not all Catholics recognize the pope. I believe the Byzantines, as a standing objection to the way the church has changed since the Nicene council, excommunicate anyone that accepts the position of pope.

      • InfvoCuernos

        Catholics, by definition, look to the Pope as their spiritual leader.

      • Dingbert

        I believe you’re thinking of Orthodox Catholics (a.k.a. Eastern Orthodox). We recognized the pope as the Bishop of Rome, like any other Bishop. He had a special place during Church Councils, but only as “first among equals.” Then the Romans split off for changing that and, among other pedantic things, adding “and of the Son” to the Nicene Creed.
        Byzantine and other Eastern-Rite Catholics are under the See of Rome and accept Papal teachings. It’s an administrative thing really, though, as they still practice Eastern Orthodox traditions.
        What’s interesting is that Pope Francis was Ordinary of the Eastern Rites in Argentina and has been referring to himself as the Bishop of Rome rather than the Pope.
        You are correct, though: Romans cannot receive Communion in an Orthodox Church–but their priests often give talks and sermons in our parish. Orthodox can receive Communion in a Roman Church–I occasionally do. Hopefully, Francis will help put an end to this hypocrisy.

        Roman Catholicism: 1 Pope
        Orthodox Catholicism: A handful of Popes
        Protestantism: 400 million Popes

    • Dingbert

      He already has his own religion. It’s called Roman Catholicism, which is incidentally the religion that put together what people today call “the Bible.” In fact, it was Martin Luther who chopped out the parts he didn’t like.
      Anyone who accepts the Nicene creed is a Christian by definition. God alone decides who is Christian in practice.

      • jnana

        I don’t accept the Nicene creed, and still consider myself a Christian

        • Dingbert

          Same with Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and some anabaptists. And I really admire anabaptists–there are Mennonites and Schwarzenau Brethren in my family. But they’re still not Christians per se. Do they belong to Christ? Obviously, that’s up to Him–not me and not a Creed. At the Final Judgment, many outside the Church will find themselves within it, and many within, without.

          • jnana

            didn’t know that about the Mormons, jehovahs and Anabaptists. I wonder what it is about the Nicene creed they reject.
            yeh, im partial to the Anabaptists and Mennonites myself. I used to think Mennonites were a type of Amish until I visited their church and learned they basically believe in personal(and communal?) interpretation of scripture

  • Ted Heistman

    “Undoubtedly, such words will anger many conservative Americans who are
    already feeling shunned by the Pope’s statements last month on contraception and abortion. Many fundamental Christians in America equate Christianity to their political ideology.”

    Not really. Protestant Fundamentalists don’t care what the Pope says. see “Believein1” for details

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  • Robert McKenna

    Also this pope is from latin America where politically engaged catholicism has a strong tendency to be socialist. So, as he has no sway with the far right non-catholic ideologues it could more realistically be aimed at the left.

  • Spasmodius

    Is Argentina a big dope-smoking country? ‘Cause l like this guy.