Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, has written (on his personal blog) a fascinating 3 part explanation of Pope Frances baffling interview.
Here is a taste: “One very easy misconception is that Traditionalism fits onto the same linear scale as ‘liberal’ and ‘(neo-)conservative’, but at the extreme end: that is, they are just conservatives on speed. Something which cannot be emphasised too much is that when Neo-Conservative Catholics become Traditional Catholics – and most trads were conservatives once – they give up two positions which are crucial to the standard ‘conservative Catholic’ offering: Legal Positivism and Ultramontanism.
Neo-Conservatives might deny that they really hold these positions, but a strong tendency in these directions is absolutely necessary to the Neo-Con project. They accept whatever has just been enacted by the Church as the most authoritative statement on any subject, regardless of the weight of earlier laws, or considerations such as Natural Justice and custom. And they place enormous emphasis on the person of the Pope, seeking at all costs to endorse and live by even their non-magisterial statements and philosophical preferences. Pope Paul was a follower of Maritain? Let’s all follow Maritain! Bl John Paul II was a Phenomenologist by training? Let’s all be Phenomenologists! Pope Benedict likes St Augustine and Scotus? You get the idea.”