Pope Francis is bordering on moral relativism by refusing to berate atheists and condemn LGBT individuals, according to conservative columnist Pat Buchanan.


Writing at Townhall on Friday, Buchanan said Pope Francis was attempting to move "the Catholic Church to a stance of non-belligerence, if not neutrality, in the culture war for the soul of the West."

Neutrality in the culture war, he wrote, citing Trotsky, meant losing the culture war.

Buchanan isn't pleased that Pope Francis described attempting to convert people to Christianity as "solemn nonsense." The pope has said that Christians need to listen to others and "discover new needs" rather than lecture them.

The conservative columnist was also upset that Pope Francis refused to judge people of certain sexual orientations.

"Well, he is pope. And even the lowliest parish priest has to deliver moral judgments in a confessional," Buchanan wrote.

Buchanan is not the only conservative to have expressed uneasiness with the new pope's tone and message.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Thursday that she was taken aback by some of Pope Francis' comments. She later clarified she didn't intend to be critical of the pope and accused the media of misrepresenting his real views.

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said earlier this year that conservatives within the Church "have not been really happy about" Pope Francis. Chaput also recently said he didn't intend to be critical of the pope.