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How will coronavirus affect religion?
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A papal struggle within the Catholic Church

Rumours that Pope Benedict is conspiring against Pope Francis are everywhere.
Catholicism Coronavirus Health Religion
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On March 31, it was revealed that the former Pope was secretly plotting to bring down his successor. Pope Benedict, who resigned from his post in 2013, has allegedly taken issue with Pope Francis. Francis is a known reformer, who believes in modernising the church. His views, which include the relaxing of the church's stance on contraception, are wildly unpopular with Catholic traditionalists.

The Argument

The current uncertainty brought on by coronavirus has created an opportunity for the traditionalist factions. Benedict is widely seen as the leader of these conservative groups. As Lynda Telford, author of '‘Women of the Vatican: Female Power in a Male World’ says of this tension: "I’m afraid that Pope Benedict is rather an opponent of any change. He is a very strong traditionalist and in the Vatican there are far too many of them, these backward-looking traditionalists who don’t want any kind of change."[1] With all concepts of 'normality' in a state of flux, and social structures breaking down, the moment to strike could not be better for Benedict.

Counter arguments

There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Benedict will take this opportunity to shake the foundations of the Catholic Church. That they may not agree on all issues, is insufficient evidence that Benedict is plotting a coup against Francis.



[P1] Benedict wants to stop Francis' plans [P2] Benedict has been seeking an opportunity to exploit [P3] The coronavirus is an opportunity to exploit

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] There is no proof Benedict was to stop Francis' plans


This page was last edited on Monday, 26 Oct 2020 at 14:48 UTC