Pope Francis is increasingly driving a wedge between conservatives and the Catholic Church.
Hours after President Obama announced moves to ease trade and travel restrictions to Cuba, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a practicing Catholic and potential 2016 presidential candidate, criticized the deal and Francis's role in it.
“I would also ask His Holiness to take up the cause of freedom and democracy, which is critical for a free people, for a people to truly be free,” Rubio told reporters.
“Sadly, in the case of Cuba, the Catholic Church has not always applied its basic principles of human dignity and reverence for the God-given freedoms that belong to every soul. I was supremely disappointed by press reports that the Pope had a hand in urging President Obama to cede crucial leverage that could have been used to help the Cuban people become free,” Diaz Balart said.
It's not the first time Francis has clashed with conservatives.
“He's modeling the church as a place for open disagreement,” said Vincent J. Miller, who chairs the University of Dayton's Catholic theology program. “In that sense, one of the most important changes he's making is that conservative politicians are now openly disagreeing with him,” Miller said.
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