Does maternalism equal infantilism?
However, there are major points of departure with Pope Francis' in terms maternalism, paternalism and the devil. These three things were roundly rejected by theologians in the 1970's.
Pope Francis continually refers to the Church as Holy Mother and highlights the maternity of the Blessed Mother in traditional ways. He calls Europe today an old maid (sterile and unmotherly) a term that feminists deplore as it makes it sound like the only true vocation of a woman is motherhood.
He sees the Church not only as mother but field hospital to treat the wounds of Catholics and others and to comfort them. We were taught in the 1970's that "comfort religion" was the worst kind of religion because it did not have a prophetic edge to it.
And certainly there is a paternalism coming from the Pope as he strives to move the Church beyond small minded rules, high liturgy and the culture wars. He wants the Church to be seen in the most positive light not only by Catholics but by the world so that we are attractive and people will want to join.
And then there is the devil. Pope Francis as a pseudo or perhaps real born again Charismatic embraces the theology of the devil in a way I never thought we would see again in the Catholic Church. To be honest with you, the 1970's in me makes me a bit uncomfortable. If you blame everything on the devil, like Adam and Eve, then you never take personal responsibility of your sins and thus sinners don't need to change their lives in order to receive Holy Communion. Holy Communion becomes a talisman for the unrepentant and some kind of magical pill or elixir that automatically cures a person without his or her cooperation.
Apart from the maternalism, paternalism and the talk of the devil the Anglican Communion has everything that Pope Francis seems to want and it is about to fall apart according to the very ceremonial head of the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Secular progressives love the liberality of liberal Protestantism especially that of the Anglican Communion because it cannot challenge the status quo of sinful secularism that opposes the true God and true Church. Secularist want a divided Christianity with internal turf wars and schisms.
The secular leaders of the east loved the Great Schism. It did for the Church of the East what has happened to the Anglican Communion. It fragments the various Churches and allows secular leaders to influence their national Churches.
The Russian Orthodox Church was despised by many true believers during communism because the state was able to control it but the state couldn't control Roman Catholicism because it had long ago abandoned being one with the state (her most corrupt period).
Even the option of divorce and remarriage in the Orthodox Church was promoted by secular rulers who had a veneer of Christianity. Isn't this what happened to the Church of England when King Henry took over as head?