This “Looking Back” post is about Pope Francis and how American Catholics saw him, but maybe more importantly how they might differ from the MAGA/Evangelicals who have moved to the extreme right in American culture.
Here are the words from the post five years ago with my highlights that I will talk about here:
When I wrote these words, Pope Francis had been pope for less than two years and was just getting his footing in the papacy. Five years later, it seems obvious that at least some US Catholics see him an un-Pope in the same way as I see the #CO3 (Current Oval Office Occupant) as the un-president.
Pope Francis has certainly shaken up the Catholic Church in many ways. To my mind he has bravely attempted to take it into the 21st century. Others see him as destroying the traditions of the church, and to them, traditions are probably more important than even the wordsf of Jesus. I just wonder how many of the conservative American Catholics side with him or the GOP?
To try to discover where US Catholics stand in the current US political field I found a rather enlightening article. Click here to see that source. According to the header at the top of this post it is split where about 40% will vote for him and 50% will not. (The grey bars are Catholics while the red bars are all voters including Evangelicals.) That is significantly better than the 85% of Evangelicals who totally align with his radical right stands. Since the majority of world Catholics are people of color, I wonder how the US split is among white Catholics and Catholics of color?
Personally, as an ex-Catholic (but maybe now I am really an in-my -heart Catholic) I see Pope Francis as fighting to take the church back to its roots in the words of Jesus. After having experienced the Protestant version of religion and their radical right political swing, if I do ever return to religion it will likely be the Roman Catholic version. At least Pope Francis’s version of it.