Vatican Pope Francis on September 10 said that he is not afraid of schism in Catholic Church, amid criticisms from conservative Catholics. He, however, added that he didn't wish such a situation to arise. The Holy Pope said so while onboard on the papal plane answering a query of a journalist. The Pope was returning to Rome after his 6-day visit to Mozambique, Madagascar, and Mauritius. During his visit, he focused mainly on three themes at the heart of his papacy: combating poverty, environmental degradation, and political corruption.
Schism is the formal separation of a Church into two Churches or the secession of a group owing to doctrinal and other differences. In simple words, the situation usually arises due to disputes over Catholic teaching. The Pope said that the Church has a long history of schism. In the early days of Christianity, a follower was excommunicated when he questioned the Church. Later, with the advent of Protestants and scientific developments, schism got common.
Pope Francis seemed to consider schisms very normal and part and parcel on Church's matters. A week ago on Wednesday while leaving Africa, he said that it is an 'honor' that traditionalist American Catholics attack him. Pope said that the differences are present not only in the US but also in Curia, which is the Vatican's bureaucracy. He meant to emphasize the fact that schism is widespread and happens often.
Speaking about the people who have differences with the Church, Pope said that he is happy with them because of their honesty. He likes the fact that they open up. He added that he would like an honest criticism rather than an under the table hush talk. He said that he doesn't prefer a knife on the back. It isn't loyal or human, he said.
The Conservative Catholics accuse the Pope of being more liberal. On this, he said that he is rather in line with previous Popes like John Paul II. Pope went on to say that the Conservatives call him a communist where he speaks the same things like that of John Paul II by citing the social teachings of the church on topics like economics, politics and the environment. The rigid Christians, bishops, priests, according to him have several clogged ideas cause of which they accuse the Pope.