5, January 2024
Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, is facing increasingly strong opposition inside the Vatican. The conservative clan of the Roman Curia – the powerful governing body of the Holy See – accuses him of a laxist vision of Catholic doctrine, particularly regarding the status of homosexual couples and divorced people in the Church.
After more than a decade as pontiff, Pope Francis finds himself facing a major challenge: maintaining the unity of the Catholic Church’s 1.3 billion faithful worldwide. This task is made even more complex by hefty criticism of Francis’s governance from conservative circles. The pope is critiqued in particular for an overly laxist doctrinal vision and a certain authoritarianism in Church management.
Since the death of his predecessor Benedict XVI at the end of 2022, pressure on Francis’s pontificate has intensified. The pontiff’s unprecedented and controversial decision on December 18 to authorise priests to bless homosexual couples under certain conditions is causing endless controversy. The “anti-Pope Francis” clan now seems more determined than ever to pursue its objective: push Francis out of office.
For now, the 87-year-old Argentinian pope is resisting and showing that he has no intention of stepping down, as long as his health allows him to continue leading the Church. But in the Vatican corridors, many now speak of a “lame-duck atmosphere”.
Source: France 24