21 November 2013, The Tablet

The new culture war

by Brendan McCarthy

Reactions to Pope Francis

Parishes report a surge in Mass attendance, inspired by Pope Francis. Commentators, even in the avowedly secular Guardian newspaper, praise his openness and humanity. But a vocal conservative minority are enraged by the new Pontiff and all he stands for A few weeks ago, Pope Francis phoned the traditionalist Catholic Italian writer Mario Palmaro. Along with a colleague at Radio Maria, Alessandro Gnocchi, he had been fired after the two men had written an article highly critical of the new papacy. The authors had pulled no punches. The piece, for the journal Il Foglio, was headlined “Questo Papa non ci piace” (“We do not like this Pope”). “We have the phenomenon of a leader who says to the crowd exactly what they want to hear,” complained the two author
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User Comments (1)

Comment by: Richard Brooke
Posted: 02/12/2015 16:28:18

Cardinal Nichols is reported on the Tablet website as 'backing military action' in Syria. One cannot be sure how fairly his views are represented in a short news item, but his remarks appear ill-advised, at the very least, especially on the very day when the specific question of bombing Syria is to be decided. While his reported remarks do not refer specifically to the morality of bombing without further ado, it is unfortunate that, again as reported, he makes no mention of the Church's teaching on just war, and in particular on the requirement that going to war should be undertaken only as a last resort, with a reasonable prospect of justice being achieved, with discrimination as regards harm to civilians, and proportionately (good achieved v harm done). Clearly there can be honest disagreement as to whether these criteria are met over Syria. But for a Church leader not to draw attention to them in a public statement is incomprehensible, and, in today's context, bad religious leadership. Maybe the Cardinal did say these things, in which case it is a great pity the Tablet did not report them, but as things stand it looks to me that the leaders of the Labour Party and the SNP are providing better moral leadership than the Leader of the RC Church in England and Wales.