The Catholic “Family Feud” Over Pope Francis

The Francis Feud: Why and How Conservative Catholics Squabble About Pope Francis
By Karl Keating
Rasselas House, 2018, 234 pages

It’s quite ironic that over the past year some of the strongest criticism of pope Francis has come, not from Bible Christians, but from conservative Roman Catholics. In his efforts to loosen dogma and liberalize the Catholic church, the pope has increasingly alienated the conservative and traditionalist factions of the church’s clergy and laity to the point where they feel they can no longer remain silent.

The four books below that are critical of Francis were all published in the last nine months (click on the title to see my review):

Conservative dissatisfaction with Francis centers around his lifting of the ban on communion for remarried divorces in his Amoris Laetitia encyclical and for his heavy-handed administrative skullduggery targeting conservative prelates. Since these books were written, Francis has further infuriated conservatives by taking the first steps in allowing intercommunion with Protestants.

In “The Francis Feud,” Karl Keating, the founder of the conservative Catholic apologetics organization, Catholics Answers, analyzes the first three books and their reception within the conservative and traditionalist camps.

Keating sees “The Dictator Pope” as the most problematic of the three books with its several undocumented claims including alleged Vatican financial support of Hillary Clinton’s 2016Capture17 presidential campaign. Keating views “Lost Shepherd” as an improvement, but still prone to hyperbole. “To Change The Church” is presented as the most objective of the three and would evidently be the one that Keating might come close to personally endorsing if he had the fortitude for such candidness.

Positive and negative reviews of the three books from various conservative sources are included. It’s obvious that part of the reason Keating wrote this book was as a platform to respond to Catholic apologist, Dave Armstrong, who views any public criticism of the pope as disloyalty to the church. Keating makes clear that Armstrong is as prone to hyperbole as the most polemical anti-Catholic. I believe another reason for this book is that Keating has decided to take a few steps back from his previous glowing compliments of Lawler’s book, which were featured on that book’s dust cover.

It’s interesting that the founder and former president of Catholic Answers chose to analyse the “squabble” within conservative Catholicism over Francis’ papacy rather than directly critiquing Francis himself.

Bottom line: This book would be of interest strictly to an evangelical Vatican-watcher who is already somewhat aware of the mounting resistance to Francis by Catholic conservatives and traditionalists and the internecine squabbling that has resulted. But, whether it’s the conservative or the liberal version, Catholicism still teaches a false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

13 thoughts on “The Catholic “Family Feud” Over Pope Francis

    1. That’s right! Catholic conservatives are in great distress because Francis is guilefully circumventing doctrines that were always thought to be unchangeable and infallible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed. I left Catholicism before I accepted Christ because I could not reconcile the RCC with what I was reading in the New Testament. I would think that those who accept Christ while still in the RCC are experiencing “red flags” from the Holy Spirit constantly over what is presented at the mass and the other rituals in comparison to God’s Word.


  1. Wow Karl Keating. That’s a name I haven’ heard of for a long time! The last time I heard him was probably 10 years ago and it wasn’t about the problem of the Pope I tell you that much! Thanks for this review and thank you for the links to previous reviews you did of critical books on the Pope by Catholics. So ironic. Never thought I would see this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!

      RE: So ironic. Never thought I would see this.

      It’s an absolutely amazing development! I’m not one to speculate on end-times, but Francis’ papacy is so extraordinarily bizarre.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, he’s doing quite an amazing job of dividing his church, but of course he views his reforms as pragmatic necessities. It’s interesting theater although our bottom line is they are without Christ, whether pro-Francis or anti-Francis.

      Liked by 2 people

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