Pope Francis Declares He is a 'Conservative' Amid Accusations of Being a Heretic
Pontiff takes accusations of being a heretic with 'grain of salt'
Pope Francis has claimed he has always been a doctrinal conservative and takes allegations of being a heretic with a grain of salt.
According to an interview with Mexican reporter Valentina Alazraki, released Tuesday by Vatican News:
“I have always defended doctrine,” the pope said.
“I am a conservative.”
When the reporter asked how he reacts to accusations of being a heretic, the pope said he takes it “with a sense of humor.”
Francis was accused of “heresy” in an open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church just weeks ago.
A group of 19 Catholics, including clergy and scholars, questioned the pope's theological orthodoxy.
“I also pray for them because they are mistaken and I saw poor people, some of whom are manipulated,” the pope said.
“I saw who the people were who signed.”
“No, seriously, a sense of humor and I would say tenderness, paternal tenderness,” he said.
“I mean, it doesn’t hurt at all. I’m hurt by hypocrisy, lying, that hurts me. But a mistake like that, where there are even people whose heads have been filled with ideas. No, please, we have to take care of them too, we have to take care of them.”
But Francis says his words were taken out of context, such as the famous line “Who am I to judge?” in reference to a homosexual priest who was trying to live a chaste life.
But the pope says his stance on n the immorality of homosexual acts is still the same and that “it is a contradiction to speak of homosexual marriage.”
The pope added that he misspoke when he said that teenagers who show homosexual tendency should be seen by a psychiatrist.
“I meant to say a professional,” he said.
“I go to confession every two weeks,” he said.
“That is, I make mistakes.”
At the same time, the pope said that his thinking has evolved somewhat.
“I trust that I have grown a bit and become a bit holier,” he said.
“People change in life. It’s possible that my criteria have broadened and that seeing the problems of the world I have a greater awareness of certain things that I didn’t have before.”
“I think that in this sense there have been changes, yes. But I am conservative. I am both things,” he said.