Pope Francis’s actions not heretical, just human

Source: CNN

By Jill Filipovic

Jill Filipovic is a journalist based in New York and Nairobi, Kenya, and the author of the book “The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness.” Follow her on Twitter. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.


(CNN) Is Catholicism about faith and compassion, or rigid doctrine and exclusion? According to a group of conservative Catholics who just accused Pope Francis of spreading heresy, it’s the latter.

Sixty-two (somewhat marginal) Catholic scholars and clergy have signed a letter that disputes Francis’ signaling of his willingness to allow divorced and remarried people to receive communion. This, they say, is immoral and heretical, a sign of Francis “misleading the flock.” Far better, in this retrograde reading of doctrine, to ostracize and shame the remarried as “adulterers” and the divorced as sinful failures.
I’ve seen how this “old way” played out in my own family, and it puts Pope Francis’ more reform-minded church in useful perspective. My grandparents were devout Catholics, married young, and had five children; my grandfather also beat my grandmother. She eventually left — a painful and terrifying decision for a woman with only a high school degree in 1950s America. She supported the five kids by working multiple low-wage jobs at once. He did his damnedest to skirt financial responsibility, and she struggled her entire life.

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