“Best Pope Ever?” Conservative Catholics Aren't Sure

Pope Francis' unpretentious mien, approachable bluntness and frank disinterest in staking out positions on contraception and homosexuality have made him a pontiff beloved even of non-Catholics. But some of the more conservative members of his flock are alarmed at his comments and wish Francis would take a harder line. "There are more and more people who are feeling uncomfortable," said one man who has blogged about the pope, who he calls "utterly reckless, theologically misleading and borderline heretical" in public remarks. A columnist for The Remnant, a Catholic paper that opposes many of the changes wrought by Vatican II nearly half a century ago, said he was "very disturbed" by some of the comments Francis has made. But another traditionalist said Francis — the first Latin American and first Jesuit pope, and a Jesuit through and through — just required some getting used to, especially after a doctrinaire academic like Benedict. "It's kind of how the kids never like the new stepfather," he said.

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