With the passing of Pope Benedict XVI, emeritus, renewed attention is being given to the differences between him and his successor, Pope Francis, and the Rev. Gerald Murray of the Archdiocese of New York told Newsmax that while the movie "The Two Popes" was "exaggerated," there were indeed differences between the two Pontiffs.
"The movie was exaggerated and tried to, of course like most movies, to create an interest in conflict and also in the contrast of personalities," Murray said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "But given all that, there was a distinction between the two Popes and that's a cause of concern because many of the things that Pope Benedict did during his pontificate and promoted have been undone by Pope Francis."
Benedict, Murray said, was "very big on defending orthodoxy and the traditions of the church to resist skepticism and relativism in the modern world," but Francis is "much more tolerant of disagreement in the church."
"He has no real sympathy for the Latin Mass," said Murray. "He's restricted it greatly."
He noted that Pope Francis is also engaged in the process in which the German Catholic Church's hierarchy "wants to change the catechism of the Catholic Church" concerning homosexuality.
"They want to do all sorts of things that the church has never done, so what we have is the passing of someone firm in orthodoxy," said Murray. "Now Pope Francis, we will see how he continues his path, which is much more tolerant of what I consider to be a destructive movement in the church, which is to try and change things."
Benedict also defended celibacy for priests by contributing to a book in 2020 with Cardinal Robert Sarah, noted Murray, after he was asked about rumors that Francis could eventually open the doors to allow priests to be married.
"Jesus Christ, who was not married is the model and origin and source of all priesthood, so for priests not to be married is a way to most adequately and perfectly reflect the life of Christ, so I don't think that's going to happen under Pope Francis," said Murray.
Pope Francis will conduct Benedict's funeral services on Thursday, and Murray said it will be interesting to see if he gives any indication of his plans for guiding the church.
"I know the funeral is going to be simpler than the funeral for Saint John Paul the Second, but I think there's gonna be an outpouring of affection and love because he was very much loved," said Murray. "He had huge crowds who used to come on Sundays and Wednesdays to the Vatican when the Pope would appear in public, so I think we're going to see a real affection shown for a man who was the true guide of faith in a very troubled time."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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