Skip to comments.Does this pope sound like a liberal to YOU?
Posted on 03/15/2013 12:27:30 PM PDT by dangus
The left is certain to claim Pope Francis to be a socialist, since he professes and demonstrates a profound love for the poor. But that's not socialism. Every Christian should have a love for the poor; socialism is merely a kleptocratic movement which usurps and perverts that. Unfortunately, it seems that not a lot of Jesuits appreciate that. Pope Francis sounds like he is one that does.
So before the Left (or the anti-Catholic elements of the far right) convince you otherwise, here is what Pope Francis actually says:
The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to Heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers. The challenge to eradicate poverty cannot be truthfully met as long as the poor continue to be dependents of the State. The government and other organizations should instead work to create the social conditions that will promote and protect the rights of the poor and enable them to be the builders of their own future. To those who are now promising to fix all your problems, I say, Go and fix yourself. Have a change of heart. Get to confession, before you need it even more! The current crisis will not be improved by magicians from outside the country and nor will [improvement] come from the golden mouth of our politicians, so accustomed to making incredible promises. "Sounds like Ronald Reagan's speech-writers found a new employer, huh? Now, this is an admittedly old speech, from the Argentine currency crisis. Does he still preach that line? His first mass as pope didn't get into economics, but it did explicitly chastise those who seek government intervention as the cure for social ills:
We can walk as much we want; we can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, nothing will avail. We will become a compassionate NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of Christ. When one does not walk, one stalls. When one does not built on solid rocks, what happens? What happens is what happens to children on the beach when they make sandcastles: everything collapses, it is without consistency. When one does not profess Jesus Christ I recall the phrase of Leon Bloy Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil. When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil.That's quite a notion of devil worship: replacing the spread of the gospel with a "compassionate NGO." Not exactly FDR, here.
When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord.
I would like that all of us, after these days of grace, might have the courage the courage to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord: to build the Church on the Blood of the Lord, which is shed on the Cross, and to profess the one glory, Christ Crucified. In this way, the Church will go forward.
I realize that these statements will not be soon confused with Milton Friedman, either. Economic policies are not the purview of the Church, and Pope Francis, for one, seems to understand that. But Pope Francis also understands that the busybody state chokes off the gospel, which is the true source of joy. And he is willing to fight to remind his fellow priests of that.
The liberals think ‘poor’ is somebody in occupy wall street. They have no idea what kind of poverty there is in South America.
I don’t want to project my own feelings on the pope; but, I’m guessing that he would look at an abled bodied person who refused to work as somebody who has committed the sin of Sloth. And most occupy types can throw in Envy, Greed, Wrath, and Pride.
I think he would never presume that any given jobless, able-bodied person was able to find work.
To me, the words of Pope Francis strike a realistic and healthy balance between the role of the state and the regulation of capital in the elimination of poverty. The gov’t should promote an economic system that allows people to provide for themselves, yet recognizes that the common good is not served by having a few possess all the wealth.
Actually, all policies are under the purview of the church...the church has and should have a say in them.
For example, the church in Germany should have been speaking out against the economic policies of the the socialist NAZI regime...that they weren't more muscular on that was a problem.
I personally have a wait and see attitude about this pope. I remember the hoopla when Benedict took over. That didn't amount to much IMO.
Perhaps I should be more careful in my wording: The values which construct economic policies are the purview of the Church, but the Catholic Church claims for itself an authority for doctrinal theology which it lacks in economics. Pope Francis promotes the values of freedom and compassion towards the poor, or, in more distinctly Catholic socioeconomic terms, subsidiarity and solidarity. The means to achieve those values requires an openness to the secular sciences, such as economics.
Catholics are generally fiscally liberal and socially conservative. They want the government (people) to give to the poor because it is what the church teaches, but they are strong believers in marriage between a man and woman, are strong pro-lifers, and do not support the use of contraceptives.
I would think the Pope will follow those basic tenets.
“....demonstrates a profound love for the poor.”
But that doesn’t mean he has to support the social leeches and parasites who claim to be living in poverty and are first in line to receive charity.
No free cellphones for them.
bump to read later
I would hope so since economic philosophy is directly related to man's spiritual condition and his relationship to God.
Marx knew this which is why he was able to promote atheism in the world through his economic theory.
“....but they are strong believers in marriage between a man and woman,....”
Then why is it that surveys conducted by the Church show that 54% (fifty four percent!!!) of Catholics do not oppose same-sex “marriage”?
The Libtards are grasping at Pope Francis’s adamant promotion of “Social Justice”, which is the religious cousin of Liberalism.
That being said, his stand on abortion and same-sex marriage is FAR from Liberal. The proof will be in the proverbial pudding over the coming weeks and months...
Lust. Don't forget the lust. I think a lot of occupiers showed up hoping to get laid.
In all honesty, many on the right view him as a socialist for the same reason.
Social Darwinism is often just under the surface of a great many fiscal conservatives.
Some additional insight into the Church's position on economic models is found in this good article, which discusses Pope John Paul II's encyclical ... Centesimus Annus. This is the philosophy also ascribed to by Pope Francis ....
The distinction between the two meanings of Capitalism is in fact made in the social encyclical (1991) Centesimus Annus ( para. 42 ). And the difference made there comes down to that between the normal and the abnormal. The encyclical is considering whether we can say that Capitalism is good or bad. If by capitalism is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a business economy, market economy or simply free economy.
In this sense, it is right to speak of a struggle against an economic system, if the latter is understood as a method of upholding the absolute predominance of capital, the possession of the means of production and of the land, in contrast to the free and personal nature of human work. In the struggle against such a system, what is being proposed as an alternative is not the socialist system, which in fact turns out to be state capitalism, but rather a society of free work of enterprise and of participation.
Just like today's Republicans. :)
There are a couple strains of "social justice" within contemporary Catholicism and within the Christianity as a whole.
Certainly, there is the branch of liberation theology that is more a dark shadow of outright communism than it is a cousin of mere liberalism. Then, there are movements akin to "Distributism," which is quite well aligned with traditional Christian emphasis on charity (freely given, not compelled) and places much value on the rights to private property. Many on the right see "distributism" and fail to differentiate it from "redistributionism."
From what I've seen and read so far, Pope Francis is no fan of heavy handed statism, and for the time being, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that his economic views are consistent with that.
Thank you for that analysis. Maybe the best I’ve read yet.
very good post. PINGU!
When Catholics came to the United States, they faced bitter economic repression. Where they could not find leadership roles in businesses at first, they did manage, due to their numbers, to elect people in cities who would open the doors of government work to them. Civil service, such as police, firefighters, soldiers and teachers, was a means to the middle class. Further, the Church was very unionist, at a time when unions stood for decent pay and working conditions, rather than emezzlement, abortion, homosexuality and bloated government bureaucracies. (The merger and nationalization of local unions into the AFL-CIO was tragic.) So practically, yes, American Catholics have been long affiliated with the Democratic party.
At the same time, the Catholic Church in Europe was the last (unsuccessful, sadly, in most cases) against the anti-clerical socialist movements. She forcefully condemned socialism, and pioneered the economic theory of subsidiarity. Unfortunately, she also became infected with freemasons, and the New World became dominated by left-wing American priests, and the heresies which in the Protestant world were called “the social gospel” took root in the Catholic Church as “liberation theology.”
John Paul II condemned liberation theology, and nourished domestic clergy in Latin America and Africa. But in the midst of expressing so much concern for the poor, he insufficiently spread the gospel of subsidiarity, the notion that authority should default to the simplest social structure even theoretically capable of accomplishing a socially necessary task. (Think states rights in the context of national policy, but community rights in the context of state policy, and individual freedom in the context of communities.)
John Paul’s answer to communism was solidarity, the notion that a hulking bureaucracy cannot be responsive to personal social means. But his critiques of plutocracy in the West led to several opportunities for the economic left (still at heart holding to liberation theology) to exploit his linguistic limitations. For instance, Americans conflate “economic freedom” with “Capitalism.” To Europeans, “capitalism” means what we would call, “plutocracy.” So when John Paul the European decried “capitalism,” American liberals portrayed him as opposing free markets. And they conflated in so many minds, “socialism” and “charity.”
I believe Pope Francis gets it far better.
This displays an appalling historical ignorance. There were members of the Church who complied (there are always collaborators, unfortunately) but by and large the Church held firm and many of Her clergy and laypeople suffered greatly in the concentration camps for it!
SotC makes a well-sourced expansion of the difference between what Europeans call “capitalism” and what Americans mean by the term.
However, the church at large was weak on economics (susceptible to socialist ideas) which is why it was not able to hold Hitler off.
The Church is against theft: and furthermore teaches that if a man does not work he should not eat. Widows and orphans are another matter of course.
Socialists do not HAVE a love FOR the poor. What they have is a love of being in control of the poor. And, to that end, they want to make EVERYONE poor. Except themselves, of course. Someone has to be in charge.
“The challenge to eradicate poverty cannot be truthfully met as long as the poor continue to be dependents of the State.” - Pope Francis I
Too long for a tagline
Yes. Did you read past the first sentence?
“But that’s not socialism. Every Christian should have a love for the poor; socialism is merely a kleptocratic movement which usurps and perverts that.”
*sigh* I guess it is. I wonder if I can paraphrase it.
I’m not understanding the reasoning for your comment. The left would have us believe that socialism is a form of government whereby the poor are taken care of. Hence their stand that the new Pope is a socialist based upon his “love” for the poor. Their belief that socialism is good for the poor is an untruth. Under socialism the poor suffer greatly. The Catholic Church, through their “charity”, does more to help the poor than anything socialism could do. The Church’s “charity” is not socialism.
the Church held firm and many of Her clergy and laypeople suffered greatly in the concentration camps for it!
One of the images that stuck in my mind’s eye while visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington was a photo of a group of priests, in clerical collars lined up in front of a Nazi firing squad. So yes, the Nazis didn’t just persecute Jews. In fact, pope John Paul II’s own parish priest was executed.
Your tone had me thinking you were trying to correct me, but your words were agreeing with me.
“Then why is it that surveys conducted by the Church show that 54% (fifty four percent!!!) of Catholics do not oppose same-sex marriage?”
My point was not Catholics it was the Church / Pope...
“Widows and orphans are another matter of course.”
This is my point.... the truly needy.
If not, nothing else matters.
What you mean is will he publicly denounce them as excommunicated, and force his priests to withhold communion so as to not desecrate the body of Christ, or permit sinners to drink poison unto themselves.
Biden, Pelosi, et al, are already excommunicated, and they are well aware of that fact; the scandal is that they continue to portray themselves as Catholics.
Pope Francis wrote a document as president of the Latin American episcopal conference, approved by Pope Benedict, calling on all the bishops of Latin America to publicly proclaim the excommunication of politicians who supported abortion. He has famously denounced the social radicals running Argentina, Christina Kirchner and her now-departed husband, Nestor (Ernesto).
Public excommunication is an act of a local bishop. Benedict demanded it. When Cardinal Wuerl failed to transmit those demands to the rest of the American bishops, Benedict promoted the bishop who most vocally denounced pro-abortion Catholics receiving communion, the bishop of St. Louis, Cardinal Burke, to be head of the Catholic Supreme Court. He also gave huge promotions to any other bishops who followed suit. But Benedict did a poor job of media relations with America, and his actions have not been made clear to Americans. I hope Pope Francis finds a way to be more forceful.
But just so you know, church-going Catholics voted 67% for Romney; nominal Catholics voted only 23% for Romney, so among those who can be reached, most are being reached. (Church-going white evangelicals voted 78% for Romney, but thats not much different from non-church going white evangelicals.) The ones who arent being reached are the Hispanics, who dont go to church and vote pretty much like black protestants. I hope Pope Francis is much better able to reach them.
Sounds good. The best and most loving service Christians can do for the poor is teach them to fish. Within a Christian culture and education, the poor can adopt a life and mind that will lift them out of poverty.
I went to different schools around the country because my dad was in the Navy with a job that required we move just about every year. The best school I went to was run by Jesuits.
I got to stay with them for two years and I was so far ahead after that, I sailed through school(s).
They really knew what they were doing and they were not pro sin (like the nuns I encountered). They had a strong spirit of Christ and it was joyful, relaxed, ethical and intellegent. It filled the children, too.
I usually moved along without resistence but I tossed a fit when I had to leave that school. All the kids were miserable on that move. It was back to the salt mines...
Oh, no. I was not attempting to correct you. I was indeed agreeing, and adding commentary of my own. Tone is something that is difficult to measure in writing.
Are these baby murderers receiving communion?
If not, then they don't believe in communion in the first place ergo, they are not Catholics.
If the pope is really pro-life, he needs to really communicate from the chair that no pro-death Catholic is Catholic. Mother Teresa communicated that very effectively. Why can't he?
He already has.
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