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Church News

Pope Francis says US Catholic conservatives have 'suicidal attitude'

by Reuters Journalist

Pope Francis said his conservative critics within the Roman Catholic Church in the United States are trapped in a "suicidal attitude," according to an interview with CBS.

During the 24th April interview with 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday, Pope Francis was asked his thoughts on the conservative backlash against his papacy, with many of his critics being American clergy members.

Pope Francis responded by saying a conservative is someone who "clings to something and does not want to see beyond that."

"It is a suicidal attitude," the pontiff said, according to a brief transcript excerpt made available by CBS Thursday.

"Because one thing is to take tradition into account, to consider situations from the past, but quite another is to be closed up inside a dogmatic box."

Pope Francis has clashed with the conservative wing almost since he was elected as head of the Church in 2013.

Moves conservatives have opposed include papal attempts to make the Church more welcoming to the LGBT community and to give lay people more responsibility in the church.

Francis last year dismissed a conservative US bishop who was a withering critic of his papacy, and said the conservative wing in the US Church was "reactionary." He also stripped a conservative American cardinal of some Vatican privileges.

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