This video from the USA says about itself:
23 September 2015
Pope Francis has been extremely open and outspoken on a number of different issues that touch on society, values, and politics. This is not sitting well with the right wing, who value the opinions of the owner class over religious leaders. Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola (Think Tank), hosts of the The Young Turks, break it down.
“Pope Francis quietly but forcefully made his priorities clear during his first full day in the United States on Wednesday, urging in a pair of speeches a renewed emphasis on tackling global poverty, confronting climate change, caring for migrants and providing a welcoming church that is pastoral rather than doctrinaire.
President Obama welcomed the spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics with the fanfare of trumpets and a show of solidarity, escorting him onto a red-carpeted stage at the South Portico of the White House and praising his moral authority that “comes not just through words but also through deeds.””
Read more here.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
Francis, loved by the people, controversial to the church leadership
by Robert Chesal
Foreign affairs editor
He is still very popular. In five years time, Pope Francis has won many hearts for his humour and social engagement. But his unorthodox style has also sown division within the Roman Catholic Church. In the Netherlands too. …
But the high expectations that Francis has raised now threaten to turn against him. The last few months there has been a lot of criticism from the victims of sexual abuse by priests. In January, Francis got much criticism when he accused Chilean victims of slander. Before that, there were already writings on the wall when two victims, a Briton and an Irishman, resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
For Raymond Lelkens, himself a victim of the Jesuit-based Canisius College in Nijmegen, enough is enough. “Initially, the pope seemed to be different, but gradually it became clear that little has changed, beautiful words are spoken, but transparency is still lacking and protecting the organization remains priority number one.”
Though women’s rights activists are milder about Pope Francis, their patience may be near its end as well.
“I would like to say to him: give women leadership positions in the Vatican.” Laetitia van der Lans, theologian and communication advisor for Dutch parishes, is still enthusiastic about Francis. But according to her, he has to put his money where his mouth is.
“He’s talking about female genius, so go ahead in practice, and I’m not even talking about female priests, let women co-manage, not just in communication and culture.” With a more feminine church, the church may tilt the whole picture.”
Others in the church community want the pope to be less carried away by social pressure. The retired Brabant parish priest Cor Mennen even went so far as to accuse Francis of spreading heresies. He did so as co-signer of a letter to the pope by conservative clergy and theologians.
“Francis gives the impression of leaving the door ajar for gay marriage, and he translates his love of the poor into a left-wing political course, with support for Cuba and negotiations with the communist regime in China. Instead, he should maintain unity and spread Christian doctrine”, says Mennen.
Fiery opposition to Francis also comes from the church leadership itself. Led by Cardinal Wim Eijk, the Dutch bishops’ conference keeps the Pope literally at a distance. Attempts to organize a papal visit to the Netherlands, which started in 2013, have been stopped by Eijk. With great tensions as a result.
Why the Dutch church leadership hates the idea of a visit by Francis is not certain. But sources within the church think it has to do with a difference in vision about the direction of the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Eijk, and many Dutch bishops with him, are said to be advocates of a church where everyone strictly adheres to the rules, even if that leads to a smaller church. That is in contrast to Francis, who has a vision of an open and hospitable church where everyone is welcome.
From 1970 on till Pope Francis, conservative popes filled vacancies in Dutch dioceses with right-wing bishops; still prevalent in the Dutch hierarchy. Quite some of these bishops practiced and/or covered up clerical child abuse. The most notorious one of these conservative newly Right Reverend gentlemen was the late Bishop Gijsen; the church admitted his child abuse only after he had died.