Pope Francis is scheduled to come address Congress on September 24, much to the pain of conservative politicians. Pope Francis has repeatedly made statements and policy decisions that have put him at odds with Republicans. Whether he is saying that women may be forgiven for having abortions or explaining that creationism and evolution are not mutually exclusive theories, he is setting conservative’s heads spinning.
Here are five points that Pope Francis has made that conservatives have been completely at odds with:
1. Pope Francis has made ending a marriage more easily accessible.
Earlier this month, Pope Francis outlined new rules that made it easier and less expensive for couples seeking an end to their relationship to part. The new rules are seen as a complete divergence from the church of the past, which had a history of making divorce and annulment difficult to obtain.
2. Pope Francis has made addressing climate change non-negotiable.
In his encyclical, Pope Francis explained that dealing with climate change is an issue of moral importance. It effects every single person on this planet and will disproportionately hurt people of lower means. Francis explained that the most vulnerable on our planet are those who will be faced with the brutality of climate change.
3. Pope Francis has offered forgiveness to women for abortions.
During the upcoming year of mercy, Pope Francis has announced, the Catholic church will extend mercy and forgiveness to women who seek forgiveness for an abortion.
4. Pope Francis said that capitalism without restraint is evil.
While visiting Bolivia in July, Pope Francis criticized the practice of wealthy nations and banks taking advantage of weaker and developing nations. The pope defended what he described as “sacred rights” that belong to poor people. Those rights cannot be taken by a bank or foreign power.
5. Pope Francis does not see creationism and evolution as exclusive.
Conservatives tend to use the concept of evolution as a wedge to divide true conservatives from others. Pope Francis rejected the idea that the theory of evolution and the theory of creationism need to be exclusive.
While talking at the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences, he said, “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything, But that is not so.”
These are just a handful of the issues that have put conservatives on edge when dealing with the new, more progressive Catholic church. It should be interesting to see how they react to the pope’s message later this month.
For more on this, read the Alternet article titled: 5 Ways Pope Francis Has Recently Caused Conservative Christians’ Heads to Explode.