Pope Francis has not made many allies since he was elected to lead the Vatican.
He’s imposed controversial changes to church doctrine and alienated those who believe in traditional values.
Now he just suffered a shocking setback.
Pope Benedict XVI was Francis’ predecessor.
He was the first Pope to retire from the position in 600 years.
And while he has largely stayed silent on the affairs of his successor, that just changed.
Pope Benedict XVI attended the funeral of Cardinal Joachim Meisner.
There, he delivered remarks many saw as a criticism of Pope Francis.
Life Site News reports:
“Pope Benedict XVI sent a sobering message at the funeral of Cardinal Joachim Meisner today, saying he was moved at the dubia cardinal’s ability to “live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even when the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.”
The Church “stands in particularly pressing need of convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship of the spirit of the age and who live and think the faith with determination,” Pope Benedict said in a message read by Archbishop Georg Gänswein, his personal secretary and head of the papal household. Because of this “pressing need,” Meisner “found it difficult to leave his post.”
“What moved me all the more was that, in this last period of his life, he learned to let go and to live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even when the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing,” the pope emeritus concluded.
Meisner, who was 83, was one of the four cardinals who sent Pope Francis a dubia, consisting of five questions, asking if Amoris Laetitia is aligned with Catholic morality. He died still awaiting the pope’s response. Although Pope Francis hasn’t answered the dubia, he has given his approval to interpretations of the controversial exhortation that say those living in adulterous unions may receive Holy Communion.”
Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration that the Catholic Church was on the verge of capsizing shocked observers around the world.
In addition to allowing individuals in adulterous relationships to receive communion, Pope Francis generated outrage when he sided with the doctors who wanted to pull 5 year-old Charlie Gard off life support.
In a statement, the Vatican cited the need to “understand” the “complex situation”.
But Catholics were outraged that Pope Francis would sell out on the Church’s position of protecting human life in order to try and accommodate the modern world.
Francis later reversed his position, however, the damage was already done.
Critics argue that Francis is moving away from being a Holy leader and transitioning into becoming a left-wing political activist.
He has repeatedly attacked nationalist movements, defended open borders, and urged Donald Trump to stay in Barack Obama’s Paris global warming agreement.
But he has never been called out on this level before.
The previous Pope saying the Church is taking on water due to current leadership is unprecedented.
And it shows that Pope Francis – despite his position – may not be successful in trying to undermine traditional religious beliefs.