Some dissenters have tried to wiggle their way out of obedience to Pope Francis, by arguing that Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation was invalid and, therefore, the latter is actually the legitimate pontiff. Mark Mallet wrote a thorough and interesting refutation of that claim here (WPI’s tripartite series “Was Pope Benedict forced to resign?” may also be helpful and can be found here, here and here.)
Notable Francis apologist Stephen Walford masterfully dissects and analyses Amoris Laetitia once more in an excellent article published in l’Osservatore Romano (scroll down to pages six and seven): “Chapter eight of Amoris Laetitia must be seen not as a rupture — as Pope Francis has now clearly taught — but in total continuity and harmony with past magisterial teaching. How can we be confident this is the case? Firstly, because no doctrine has been tampered with: the indissolubility of marriage remains, the doctrine on mortal sin remains, the horror of sacrilegious reception of Holy Communion remains (…) There can be no rupture when the maternal instincts of Holy Mother Church seek to rescue souls who are genuine in their desire to change, and when this maternal tenderness is manifest in the will of the “sweet Christ on earth”. It is simply not possible.”
In a speech to Italian seminarians, Pope Francis clarifies what he means by clericalism as an evil to be fought by the Church: “Clericalism, my dear ones, is our ugliest perversion. The Lord wants you to be shepherds; shepherds of the people, not clerics of the state.”
Spirit Daily published an excellent article explaining why clericalism is the actual root cause of the abuse crisis in the Church. “The Fall of the Pharisees?“: “And when one looks at the Pharisees, one sees not evil men, but men who had become too enamored of their canonical religiosity and positions, allowing their laws — often ones of minutiae — to assume more importance than what the Bible taught — which is God’s Love and supernaturality. The very word “pharisee,” (…) means set apart, separate, or detached. It has come to mean self-righteous.“
Former Prefect of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Cardinal Müller says in interview to La Stampa, regarding Archbishop Viganò’s charges: “No one has the right to indict the Pope.” Also: “The attacks hurt the credibility of the Church. I am convinced that Francis is doing everything possible against abuses. The American bishops should have sent the texts to Rome earlier“
International best-selling author Fr. Tómas Halik’s interview with Filipe d’Avillez: “Pope Francis is starting this new era of the Church, and every time somebody starts something new, such as happened with many saints in History, they found trouble in the Church, they were attacked, but they keep the fidelity to the Church, and I think that the supporters of Pope Francis want, and have the sensitivity, to read the signs of the times“
Heartwarming: Pope Francis apologizes in the name of humanity to woman disfigured by acid. Also, Pope Francis gets interrupted by a mute child and takes the opportunity to make a beautiful speech about being child-like in our faith towards Our Father in Heaven.