Pope says a strong U.S. faction offers a backward, narrow view of the Church / The New York Times

His (Pope Francis) comments were an unusually explicit statement of the pope’s longstanding lament that the ideological bent of some leading American Catholics has turned them into culture warriors rather than pastors, offering the faithful a warped view of Church doctrine rather than a healthy, well-rounded faith.

By Jason Horowitz and Ruth Graham, The New York Times

“Pope Francis has expressed in unusually sharp terms his dismay at ‘a very strong, organized, reactionary attitude’ opposing him within the U.S. Roman Catholic Church, one that fixates on social issues like abortion and sexuality to the exclusion of caring for the poor and the environment.

“The pope lamented the ‘backwardness’ of some American conservatives who he said insist on a narrow, outdated and unchanging vision. They refuse, he said, to accept the full breadth of the Church’s mission and the need for changes in doctrine over time.

“‘I would like to remind these people that backwardness is useless,’ Francis, 86, told a group of fellow Jesuits early this month in a meeting at World Youth Day celebrations in Lisbon. ‘Doing this, you lose the true tradition and you turn to ideologies to have support. In other words, ideologies replace faith.’”

By Jason Horowitz and Ruth Graham, The New York Times — Read more …