Should The Orthodox And Catholic Laity Publicly Disagree With Their Spiritual Leaders?

As a Catholic considering a move to the Greek Orthodox Church, unlike many others I’ve no ill will against Pope Francis at all nor do I scorn the Ecumenical Patriarch. I think most people who know me understand quite clearly that I am one of Pope Francis biggest defenders against unwarranted attacks and is not set to change simply because I’m looking East.

This includes justified criticisms (I’ll get to those in a minute) but that harbour a devilish undertone which seem to indicate an underlying demonic motive. Often this is demonstrated by those Catholic and Orthodox mouthpieces on YouTube that refuse to address The Pope by his Spiritual title as Pope or at least the Bishop of Rome. Instead they simply call him “Francis.” They do the same with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople calling him “Bartholomew”.

Certain clerics in the Church from Pope to Patriarch have theological expressions within their Churches that we don’t all have to agree with. If we want, there’s no problem publicly stating the distaste we have for them, but it must be done with the greatest of love and respect.

I disagree with the Ecumenical Patriarch and The Pope on some issues. I have a strong dislike for the Popes vaccine mandates in which he calls taking the Vaccine a moral obligation giving no freedom of conscience on the matter. Likewise I disagree with many bishops who force this on their clergy and hopeful seminarians stifling vocations through the advocacy of human concepts and traditions.

I disagree with the Pope on climate change and his view on evolution in scripture regarding the creation story. Then I agree with him on other subjects that some of my Latin readers will be surprised by. I support fully his restrictions on the Latin Masses that were becoming a den for factionalism and small right wing personalities using it as a means to create a Church within a Church. And you’ll be surprised to know that while I like the Latin Mass, I could never truly engage with it because of the sometimes mentally unwell congregants that would frequent it in very small numbers (I’m speaking about Ireland).

Orthodox may feel sympathy for people looking for more holiness when they look at the SSPX but what they fail to understand is that like Protestants, if they’re disobedient to their own clergy they’ll be the same in your Church as well. Also, you have to take into account that Catholicisms new liturgy of Vatican II is well embedded into normal society and normal people attend it just like normal people attend the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom in Greece. But the Latin Mass attracts a small segment of society the majority of which (not all) have, I dare to say many psychological and spiritual problems. Whilst I’m aware you’d love anyone coming to Orthodoxy and would happily get converts any which way you can, just be mindful of that.

I agree with the Pope on other stuff too that even Eastern Orthodox Christians would nod their heads to because it’s common sense. Therefore I’m not some sort of Pope hater nor an Ecumenical Patriarch hater either. I disagree with the Ecumenical Patriarch on the whole climate change thing and with the meddling in the affairs of Ukraine. I think his actions there are not irreparable and he should seek to remedy it right away. It looks bad when you desire unity with the Catholic Church and make attempts to remedy this schism when you purposefully create more of it in your own Church. If there is division within your own Church how do you expect to get back the Catholics?

I definitely have a strong dislike for clericalism. Even though I express a public distaste of certain things Pope Francis approves of and do so with great respect I still get a lot of heat for it. People assume I’m attacking the Pope and that is not the case at all. Others who behave like this are engaging in what is known as clericalism which is a sin that the Pope himself condemned and warned the Catholic faithful about. It seems that anyone who disagrees with the Pope is given the boot out the door and it’s not something I find altogether intelligent. Small minded and narrow minded souls behave like this.

Again, like this on a public blog where we express publicly our opinions I don’t see the issue with it as long as they’re not damaging to your church. If the Churches are going to adapt to the Popular culture by supporting their climate change and vaccines then it needs to accept that the new public square is now the internet where opinions are publicly shared.

I don’t see any issue with it on the internet as long as it’s not going to damage the image of the Church is not overtly obsessive like some YouTube Channels (Orthodox and Catholic) can be who don’t just express their differing opinions but spill the sins of their priests to the entire secular world. It’s not a good thing spilling the personal sins of our brothers to a secular crowd and on such a public platform no matter how heinous they are. That’s an entirely different blog post and topic altogether far different than criticizing the actions or theological expressions of our spiritual leaders.

St.John Chrysostom has a homily on publishing the sins of the brethren online I highly recommend you read it. I don’t even need to tell you what his advice is as I think you already know from the title. Anyway, that’s a different topic altogether that I’ve covered in the past. For now, you can disagree with the Pope and hold different theological views, just do it with love and respect like you would anyone else in the entire world no matter what their religious affiliation or cultural upbringing. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

God bless.



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