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.
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.