How is it that Francis the liberal, ostensible head of the Catholic Church, could be both liberal and Catholic? Is there such a creature as a liberal Catholic? Interesting questions, indeed.
Fr. Felix writes that, “Liberalism is the dogmatic affirmation of the absolute independence of the individual and of the social reason. Catholicity is the dogma of the absolute subjection of the individual and of the social order to the revealed law of God. One doctrine is the exact antithesis of the other. They are opposites in direct conflict.”
Either Francis is a liberal, or he is a Catholic. He cannot be both. Scary thought, but it does require a caveat.
In his book, Liberalism is a sin, Fr. Felix titles one of his chapters, “Can a liberal be in good faith?” The answer he gives is, ultimately, yes. He explains, “The seduction of Liberalism is not of the kind that blinds by a false light, but rather by the seduction which, in sullying the heart, obscures the understanding. We may therefore justly believe…in a Catholic who entertains Liberal principles.”
Francis more than entertains liberal principles-he embraces them with the warmest welcome imaginable. The man is unquestionably a liberal; but maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t know it.
Doubtful, but possible.