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Pope Francis Catholic Church leader facing heavy criticisms from Catholics

Reports say the role Pope Francis played in encouraging talks between Presidents Barack Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro has created anger among some older Catholics in South Florida

  • Published:
  play (Daily Mail)

Pope Francis maybe facing serious criticisms from senior conservative catholics who are gearing up for key events such as 2015 October's Synod on 'the Family'.

Reports say the role Pope Francis played in encouraging talks between Presidents Barack Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro has created anger among some older Catholics in South Florida where there are strong feelings against the Castro brothers.

Efrain Rivas, a 53-year-old maintenance man in Miami who was a political prisoner in Cuba for 16 years, told reporters: "I'm still Catholic till the day I die, but I am a Catholic without a pope."

However, the response to his Cuba intervention was positive in the US, which the Pope is due to visit in September.

But further opposition from conservatives is aired in the latest weekly magazine of the French newspaper Le Figaro, headlined "The Secret War in the Vatican: How Pope Francis is shaking up the Church."

It includes an interview with Cardinal Raymond Burke, moved recently from his senior position as prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura to chaplain of the Order of Malta after he criticised Pope Francis over the recent Synod on the Family.

Asked by Le Figaro if a cardinal could be in disagreement with the Pope, Cardinal Burke replied: "It is certainly possible for a cardinal to be in disagreement with the Pope on matters of procedure or of a pastoral line. But it is on the other hand impossible for there to be a divergence on a matter of doctrine and discipline of the Church. This means therefore that a Cardinal, in certain situations, has the duty to say what he truly thinks to the Pope. Obviously, he must always express himself in a respectful manner, because the Pope represents the Petrine ministry. But if the Pope has cardinals around him, it is precisely in order to give him advice."

He added that what was so "strange" in the controversy over communion for remarried divorcees was that "those who recalled and supported that which the Latin Church has always taught have been accused of being against the Holy Father, and of not being in harmony with the Church... It is amazing!"

He also admitted he found the synod, in October, a "difficult experience", partly because the "homosexual question" was also introduced.

Burke told Le Figaro: "In an age filled with confusion, as we see with gender theory, we need the teaching of the Church on marriage. Yet, we are on the contrary pushed towards a direction for the admission to communion of divorced and remarried persons."

He warned that it could lead de facto to a kind of "Catholic divorce", and to the weakening of the indissolubility of marriage.

"The Church must defend marriage, and not weaken it," he said. He called on all Catholics to get involved in the battle to defend marriage at the synod, due to take place in Rome in October 2015.

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