In the recent past, certain US and Canadian lay Catholics have taken to criticizing Pope Francis. Among their various and numerous criticisms, they often insert a personal testimony about their initial reaction to his election. They note that when they first saw him step out onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, they immediately experienced some uncertainty. This uncertainty, they suggest, was a divine inspiration of sorts, warning them of the future dangers posed by the pontificate of Pope Francis. In this episode, I talk about the Gnostic character of appeal to personal feeling or an inner light as the grounds for religious authority. We talk about the general unreliability of this principle and how Christian thinkers of the first three centuries opposed this line of thinking in response to their Gnostic components. Join us this week as we continue to explore the Gnostic character of recent criticisms of Pope Francis.

 

Image of Pope Francis’ Election to the Papacy

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