Pope Francis criticized conservative elements in the U.S. Catholic Church for standing up against “Wokeism.” He denounced their “backward” attitude and stated that Catholic doctrine permits evolution over time. The Pope acknowledged divisions in the Church between progressives and conservatives, particularly on topics like abortion and same-sex marriage. Some conservatives disapproved of his focus on social justice and criticized his leniency towards divorced Catholics. He shared these views during a private meeting with Portuguese Jesuits in August. The Pope warned against closed attitudes, asserting that clinging to tradition can lead to disconnected ideologies. He stressed the need for a progressive understanding of faith and morality.