Pope Francis: 6 years of the 'liberal Pope'

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With regard to the 6 years that Pope Francis have being the Supreme Pontiff, we remember why the 'liberal Pope' is loved by many and despised by others

Pope Francis: 6 years of the 'liberal Pope'

On March 13, 2013 the news that the Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio would be the new Pope were given, after the resignation of Benedict XVI. Practically from day one, Pope Francis, with a representative charisma, began to propose a new version of the Catholic Church.

Leer en español: Papa Francisco: 6 años del 'papa liberal'

In some ways the Pope has shown a more liberal and progressive side and in others he follows the more traditional values of religion. Other major events that have marked his papacy have been scandals of sexual abuse by members of the church, which has forced him to have a firm position to show that he does not support these actions.

It is enough to know the reason of his papal name 'Francisco', to understand a little of this pope's mission in the world. Saint Francis of Assis, from which his name comes, was a man who gave out his wealth to give himself to the service of the poor. From that, Pope Francis has focused on the people most in need, especially migrants.

During this papacy, the most critical people have not been those who do not practice Catholicism, but, on the contrary, the most conservative practitioners. Criticism is based on decisions that could change the course of the Catholic Church towards a more liberal sense, so that it would begin to set aside certain paradigms that the most conservative continue to protect.

According to Thomas D. Williams, a former conservative priest, in an interview with CNN, "there is a kind of concentration (of conservatives) with different concerns, but united by the idea that the Pope could be a danger ... and I think that there was a critical moment when the benefit of the doubt was over and some conservatives simply said that this was going in a bad direction and that it was time to oppose."

In 2018, Pew Forum conducted a survey that showed that about 85% of American Catholics support the pope and approve where he is going. As more than 90% describe it as compassionate and humble, two characteristics of San Francisco de Asis. He also had a percentage of almost 40% in the perception of whether he is a liberal pope. For this reason, the survey showed that 55% of Republicans believe that he is very liberal .

Also read: Is there really justice for victims of sexual abuse?

After the first years of the papacy, in 2015, the Washington Post published 8 of the liberal tint declarations of the pope that have caused controversy, for better and for worse, around the world. These first years and affirmations were the entrance to what would be a liberal papacy for many. From there, the pope's actions, in favor of the sick, migrants and the needy, respecting the LGBT community, allegations of abuse of minors by clerics, and the empowerment of women within the Catholic Church have been some that have characterized him.

These are some of the most liberal actions of his first years as Supreme Pontiff:

1. "Who am I to judge? ": This phrase was said by the Pope referring to homosexuals. He affirmed that he is not the one to judge, because if a homosexual decides to approach God, he will always be well received, just like any other person. This statement turned out to be controversial because of the contradiction with what Pope Benedict XVI believed, who declared homosexuality as "intrinsic moral evil".

2. Forgiveness for women who abort: according to the Catholic religion, under no circumstances should a woman have an abortion, because the child's life is sacred and the mother should not decide whether she lives or not. However, he opened the door for women who have had an abortion and want to confess about it to be acquitted. Normally, this action, considered a mortal sin by Catholicism, requires a specific priest and authorization to confess. Pope Francis changed this vision.

3. Encyclical on the environment: the Pope created this encyclical to continue a direct fight against pollution. Around this issue, he made indirect criticism to Donald Trump, who claims that global warming does not exist. In it he cites as a moral obligation that there are international agreements to fight against climate change.

In its call to protect the environment, he also "charged against the current economic system (of the United States, for example) that exploits natural resources without ethical or moral considerations." This did not please many economic sectors or Republicans, who criticized the Pope for talking about their system.

4. Crusade against pedophilia: He began 2019 with criticism and denunciations of pedophilia, a fact that had been criticized previously, as it was said that, like Pope Benedict XVI, he was covering up the Church. According to El Tiempo, the Pope declared that "the Holy See and the whole Church are working to combat and prevent such crimes and their concealment, to find out the truth of the facts and to do justice to children who have suffered sexual violence, aggravated by the abuse of power and conscience."

Read also: Lucetta Scaraffia: the woman behind the Vatican women's magazine

5. Women in the church: in 2016, the pope created a commission to analyze the possibility of ordering women within the church to be part of it as deaconesses. According to The New York Times, Lucetta Scaraffia , who is the editor of the Vatican's monthly magazine, Women Church World, says that the pope has taken small steps in this regard, although it was believed that it would not work. For example, according to Scaraffia, in 2018, "he appointed three female advisors to the doctrinal oversight committee of the Church.


LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

Translated from "Papa Francisco: 6 años del 'papa liberal'

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