A new book spells out how Pope Francis is liberalizing Roman Catholic morality according to the hopes of progressives.
Ross Douthat has written a book arguing that Pope Francis is liberalizing church teaching and practice according to liberal desires and goal. But he is doing so, as much as he has, in a way that hides his agenda because he does not want the Roman Catholic Church to split.
The American Conservative posted Rod Dreher’s interview with Douthat. Here is a sampling:
Rod Dreher: Let’s start with an easy one: What is the thesis of your book?
Francis knows that what he’s doing is fraught and dangerous and could potentially push the church toward schism; the resistance he faced from conservative bishops at the two synods on the family testified to that. So in part this crisis seems muted because he’s worked to keep it that way, proceeding through ambiguous formulations and footnotes and decentralizing permission slips. The theory in his inner circle seems to be that this is the way to get Catholicism where they want it to go without a Reformation-level blowup – that you can let national churches and local bishops conduct their own experiments, with a kind of soft pressure from Rome to liberalize, and with time conservatives will become sufficiently marginalized that they will lack the effective power to protest, and they’ll just have to subsist as a kind of church within the church, anachronistic in their moralism and sacramental theology just like the church’s Latin-Mass parishes are (from a progressive perspective) anachronistic in their liturgy today.
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