Despite the headline of this article — “Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach” — it also contains a lot of examples of conservative Catholics coming to grips with what their faith is really about:
“Maybe Pope Francis is calling me to love someone whose views I don’t like. And how much better would the world be if we got over all this.”
Gregory Popcak, a marriage and family counselor on the radio and in private practice in Ohio, describes being sent deep into prayer after several clients used Francis’s public words to push back on Popcak when he explained church teachings on sex and love. One client recently quit, saying, “I’m much more of a Pope Francis-Nancy Pelosi Catholic, and you’re an old-school, Pope John Paul II Catholic,” he recalled.
First, he felt frustrated, then ashamed.
The story of the prodigal son came to him, and he saw in himself the good son. “The good kid who stayed behind, did everything his father told him to do, ,” Popcak wrote in a recent online essay that prompted dozens of people to share similar sentiments. “People who left the Church, who hated the Church . . . were suddenly realizing that God loved them, that the Church welcomed them, and all I could do was feel bitter about it.”
Many in the Church hierarchy are scumbags who will surely rot in hell if the God they profess to worship actually exists, but there are also a lot of well-meaning people who go to Church every week, care about those less fortunate, but waste too much time hating on gheys and sluts. To me, people like this (and I’m related to some) are the prodigal sons, and I hope they return to decency and sanity.