Skip to comments.Why Pope Francis is not a Communist
Posted on 07/05/2014 5:53:22 AM PDT by Kolokotronis
"I say only that the Communists have stolen the flag, Francis responded. The flag of the poor is Christian. Poverty is at the heart of the Gospel. The poor are at the heart of the Gospel. Take Matthew 25, the protocol over which we shall be judged: I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was in prison, I was sick, naked. Or look at the Beatitudes, another flag. The communists say that this is communist. Yeah, right, 20 centuries later.
The Holy Father concluded with a joke: So you could say when you speak to them: But you are Christians.
Some precincts of the American hard right went predictably bonkers. NUTS, was Jim Hofts headline at Gateway Pundit. Rush Limbaugh wondered if the pope was claiming Jesus as a communist. The comboxes at Free Republic, the Washington Times, Newsmax and The American Catholic swelled with insults aimed at the Holy Father. There will be more where this came from, but the week is young."
(Excerpt) Read more at aleteia.org ...
I do still find his association of government intervention and authoritarianism with works of charity and aid for the poor troubling, though.
Finally we get another truth about the Pope. The lamestream media (and even some Catholic sources, have been mistaken.
Simply put, Liberation Theology is an attempt to interpret Scripture through the plight of the poor. It is largely a humanistic doctrine. It started in South America in the turbulent 1950s when Marxism was making great gains among the poor because of its emphasis on the redistribution of wealth, allowing poor peasants to share in the wealth of the colonial elite and thus upgrade their economic status in life. As a theology, it has very strong Roman Catholic roots.
Liberation Theology was bolstered in 1968 at the Second Latin American Bishops Conference which met in Medellin, Colombia. The idea was to study the Bible and to fight for social justice in Christian (Catholic) communities. Since the only governmental model for the redistribution of the wealth in a South American country was a Marxist model, the redistribution of wealth to raise the economic standards of the poor in South America took on a definite Marxist flavor. Since those who had money were very reluctant to part with it in any wealth redistribution model, the use of a populist (read poor) revolt was encouraged by those who worked most closely with the poor. As a result, the Liberation Theology model was mired in Marxist dogma and revolutionary causes.
As a result of its Marxist leanings, Liberation Theology as practiced by the bishops and priests of South America was criticized in the 1980s by the Catholic hierarchy, from Pope John Paul on down. The top hierarchy of the Catholic Church accused liberation theologians of supporting violent revolutions and outright Marxist class struggle. This perversion is usually the result of a humanist view of man being codified into Church Doctrine by zealous priests and bishops and explains why the Catholic top hierarchy now wants to separate itself from Marxist doctrine and revolution. Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/liberation-theology.html#ixzz36bG52R9f
Official Catholic teaching on economics - distributism?!?. You are wrong. You are completely wrong. I think your post is ignorant.
Marxist were, among other things, militant atheists. They always seek to suppress faith.
Only those who are truly ignorant of marxism can accuse the Holy Father, the leader of the Church, a man of faith, of being a marxist.
Repeat After Me: Subsidiarity & Solidarity
Subsidiarity and Human Dignity
Does the USCCB Understand Subsidiarity?
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] The Principle of Subsidiarity
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] Subsidiarity Over Social Justice
What is the USCCBs problem with subsidiarity?
Subsidiarity: Where Justice and Freedom Coexist
Health reform still full of thorny problems for Catholics (Vasa comes out for subsidiarity)
What You [Catholics] Need to Know: Subsidiarity, [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Catholic Word of the Day: SUBSIDIARITY, 06-11-09
The pope would make a good Methodist.
“It started in South America in the turbulent 1950s when Marxism was making great gains among the poor because of its emphasis on the redistribution of wealth, allowing poor peasants to share in the wealth of the colonial elite and thus upgrade their economic status in life.”
Which, it should be noted, never happened.
The poor in Cuba, for instance, are worse off today than they were 70 years ago under Batista.
>>The pope would make a good Methodist.
Nah. He’s against abortion and “marriage equality”.
So are the various churches in the Methodist movement.
“Only those who are truly ignorant of marxism can accuse the Holy Father, the leader of the Church, a man of faith, of being a marxist.”
It is clear to me that the man who wrote these words is no communist:
“I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord.1 The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace. How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another seventy times seven (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew.”
>>So are the various churches in the Methodist movement.
The people in the pews are against, but the decision-makers are not. I left the UMC last week because of what I saw at FL Annual Conference this year (and last). You don’t know the depths of the socialist evil that has crept into such a wonderful movement over the last 50 years until you’ve been to AC or GC.
The seminary-trained clergy is overwhelmingly liberal.
They have a heavy hand in choosing the lay delegates to AC.
The delegates to AC choose the delegates to GC.
If it wasn’t for the African conference, the UMC would have had gay pastors 6 years ago.
Another thing, the real communists are the ones who write articles which try to make us think he is a communist just like them. They think that they win when they work to make us think that he has compromised his position.
They worked to make Pope Pius XII a nazi sympathizer. And whenever Clinton or Obama have spent time speaking with the pope they always come out of the room and mysteriously the pope has changed his entire position on abortion to match Clinton and Obama's pro-death views.
The truth is that the 20th and 21st centuries have had the highest concentration of holy popes of anytime is history outside of the first few centuries where every pope was martyred.
The Book of Discipline still hasn't changed on either of those issues you cite.
I left the UMC last week because of what I saw at FL Annual Conference this year (and last). You dont know the depths of the socialist evil that has crept into such a wonderful movement over the last 50 years until youve been to AC or GC. The seminary-trained clergy is overwhelmingly liberal. They have a heavy hand in choosing the lay delegates to AC. The delegates to AC choose the delegates to GC.
I was actually at the IN Annual Conference back at the tail-end of April. We have a thriving Confessing Movement presence. INAC is probably the most evangelical/conservative AC outside of the Southeastern Jurisdiction and I'm not really concerned about whether my clergy are political liberals/moderates. God doesn't endorse one political brand, after all.
Sorry to hear you left the fight.
I know exactly what it is. I also know that it has not been the official Catholic teaching on economics - ever. Rerum Novarum espoused certain thoughts on economics which some people (mostly non-Catholic socialists) twisted into distributism. Distributism is never advocated in that encyclical.
Many popes have decried the damage of socialism and the excesses of capitalism, but no pope has advocated for a specific alternative. In fact, Saint PJPII in Centissimus Annus (the 100 year anniversary of Reum Novarum) decidedly shifted the Catholic thought toward capitalism.
Protestants have noticed that, as British Methodist William Sangster observed, there hasn't really been a truly bad pope since the Counter-Reformation.
>>The Book of Discipline still hasn’t changed on either of those issues you cite.
True, but it is only because of the Africans. At AC, all the talk was on Hamilton’s “Way Forward” (I wonder why he left off the traditional exclamation mark for the Progressive “Forward!”?). The emotionally-charged vote on abortion (a resolution to merely encourage an ultrasound) was my tipping point. We heard arguments on politics, social sciences, and junk science (i.e. “only 1 out of 10 women who see an ultrasound will choose to not abort.” Fine. What about the liberal mantra of “if it only saves one child”??). At one point, my pastor (a rare conservative Elder) leaned over and said, “Do you feel the Holy Spirit in this room?” I said “No”. He replied, “Me neither.”
>>I was actually at the IN Annual Conference back at the tail-end of April. We have a thriving Confessing Movement presence. INAC is probably the most evangelical/conservative AC outside of the Southeastern Jurisdiction and I’m not really concerned about whether my clergy are political liberals/moderates. God doesn’t endorse one political brand, after all.
We have a growing Confessing Movement in Florida. When the church splits, I may return to the newly-formed Evangelical Methodist Church (or whatever they call it).
>>Sorry to hear you left the fight.
I’m tired of fighting Progressives (until the actual shooting war starts). I just want to be away from them. Most of them don’t even know the entirety of what they are fighting for. They just pick one cause and make that their emotional hot button without understanding the full implications of what they want.
“Given the insults to the present pope appearing of late on these pages, especially those accusing him of being some sort of socialist,”
The Church has had good Popes and it has had BAD Popes. This one is NOT a good pope. The Church will survive
In the end, does any of the stuff at FL AC noticeably impact what's going on in your local congregation? You might find my friend Chad Holtz's reasoning for why he stays in the UMC insightful.
Thank you for that link, made my day.
Sorry but I saw very little in all those words that distinguishes him from a Communist or socialist. In saying to the Communists “”you are Christian “ he’s equating the two or that “we were Communists before you were”.
He makes no effort to walk back his statement that it is up to governments to redistribute wealth - steal from Paul to give to Peter - which is the essence of communism.
If he were president he would govern very much like our current socialist in the white house - do you doubt that?
>>I’m confused. You left a Methodist congregation, not because you disagree with the pastor, who is a conservative/evangelical, but because of stuff that happened outside of your home church at Annual Conference?
A pastor is just a person passing through the life of a church. The five pastors prior to him were fully-involved Progressives. They would preach the “Jesus was the first Socialist” sermons from our pulpit. I accepted that because the Progressive movement was not winning in America then. Today, things are different. The Progs are winning and I am not supporting them at any level anymore. Our next pastor could easily be a rainbow stole wearing Progressive who hints at denying the supernatural power of God and the deity of Christ (like our previous pastor).
>>In the end, does any of the stuff at FL AC noticeably impact what’s going on in your local congregation? You might find my friend Chad Holtz’s reasoning for why he stays in the UMC insightful.
There are conservative Wesleyan denominations. There are non-denoms with Wesleyan theology. God does not live exclusively in the UMC.
But, I’m actually coming to realize that the things that made Wesleyanism so wonderful in a Christian nation are the things that make it too weak to survive a post-Christian nation. I find it hard to believe that many Progressives have received Prevenient Grace. Perhaps Calvin was right when speaking of a post-Christian nation.
I’ll read Holtz’ article and comment later on that.
“and I’m not really concerned about whether my clergy are political liberals/moderates. God doesn’t endorse one political brand, after all.”
We humans seem to like an Aristotelian model with a sensible center and wings stretching away in two directions, an assumption being that the further away you get from the “sensible center” in either direction, the whackier you are.
I don’t buy it.
It’s one continuum leading from Satan on the left to God on the right. It’s not possible for a human to get far enough to the right, and God does disapprove of the left.
It’s verifiable, if you choose to observe.
The UMC just reinstated a heretic priest after defrocking him for solemnizing a same-sex “wedding.”
If that is not full blown apostasy, then nothing can be.
Sorry to here you are so blind to open heresy.
I agree the Church will survive whoever is Pope. I am 48 and remember Paul VI as a kid, he died when I was 12. Obviously, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict and now Pope Francis. Benedict was my kind of guy, Great Theologian, loved the Church Fathers and Patristic Theology, and Liturgy. Pope Francis, I will not call a Bad pope, I will not say he is a good pope, I am sort of neutral.
I think we need to see his papacy and evaluate it when it is over. My criticism of him is he seems to have the Italian temperament of saying things off the cuff, rather than just measuring himself. I liked Benedict’s measured and thoughtful style. However, I do respect his ability to connect with people in large settings, which is something that Pope John Paul II could do very well.
On what I think is the most important ecumenical issue, relations with the Eastern Orthodox, he has seemed to really find common ground with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and also the Patriarch of the Armenian Orthodox Church, which broke communion with Rome and the East at the time of the Council of Chalcedon in 451AD. So he has done some good things as well.
Keep praying for the Pope, he seems to gradually be hitting his stride in being Pope.
“Sorry but I saw very little in all those words that distinguishes him from a Communist or socialist.”
Really? Did you see my note 15?
“In saying to the Communists you are Christian hes equating the two or that we were Communists before you were.
No, no, no. No. No.
He is saying, “You profess to hate the Church, but your rhetoric is a pale-pink rip-off of what we’ve had for 2000 years. You hate us? You act like you wish you *were* us.”
“He makes no effort to walk back his statement that it is up to governments to redistribute wealth - steal from Paul to give to Peter - which is the essence of communism.”
He didn’t say that. At all. If you want to know what he said, you need to click on some links and read some original documents. There’s a link to distributism on this thread that leads to a very good article.
“If he were president he would govern very much like our current socialist in the white house - do you doubt that?”
It’s not even remotely plausible.
It's happened before, and our Judicial Council struck down that prior instance of 'reinstatement' too. To be sick is not to be dead.
As John Stott put it, the faithful remnant was always in the Church, never outside it. When they force me to participate in their sins, then I'll leave.
If only he - like so many prior popes - hadn't said so many other things that also made him sound like a political liberal.
I don't assume that. In fact, I hate the concept of a 'center'. But I'm not going to demonize people who are otherwise orthodox Christians simply because they believe that socialism is a better system than capitalism, or because they vote Democratic. Theology is not politics, and politics is not theology.
As I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong!!) is that according to Papal teaching since Rerum Novarum (and even before) it is a natural good to own property ("things" that are proper to a man) and that this "good" is best when proprietorship is widely common: in other words, when all or most people have some stake in the way they make a living, some "skin in the game," some degree of ownership.
The way Chesterton explained it (but in words better than mine): we believe in the natural right to own property and the natural right to marry. But this rightful ownership isn't best seen as one man owning all the land in the county, any more than that one man marries all the women in the county.
In other words, there should be widespread proprietorship. Not by the govt. confiscating land or capital from one group and giving it to another group, but by a decided preference of all elements of society towards wide ownership or wide participation in ownership.
So what I would call it, is not a "distributist society" but "a proprietorship society."
I wouldn't want it done by confiscation. It must be done by purchase or donation. Not unreasonable. There was a movement in India in the 1950's led by Vinoba Bhave called "Bhoodan" (land-gift) where I think they got 5 million acres donated from private landowners. Not a WHOLE lot in a huge country like India. but it was a start. Now fire away!
I understand exactly what you're saying. I was definitely a JP II admirer. His witness to the faith was decisive in my conversion to the Catholic Church.
I also admired Benedict while he was still Cardinal Ratzinger. I read the Ratzinger Report and Saltz der Erde while living in Germany. These two books also aided me in my conversion. JP II and "Ratzo" were my cup of tea, and I always saw them as men who were deeply sympathetic to my conservative outlook on everything.
With Pope Francis, I feel a bit alienated. I have accepted that I am simply not in the primary audience he addresses. That's not a tragedy or anything, and it seems that the Holy Spirit has chosen a new voice for a new time. I respect Francis as the Holy Father, but am also aware that he views secular affairs from a very different perspective than his predecessors. I fear that his off-the-cuff comments about economics, immigration, et al., come off as flippant, and are easily twisted into dangerous social tendencies in the contemporary world.
Although he has taught nothing heretical when his comments are read in context, one could wish that he were more prudent in his public utterances. In a world that will always bend a Pope's words to its own ends, one could wish that the Holy Father were more measured in his public comments, eg, his "Who am I to judge" comment regarding homosexuals, his "An atheist can go to Heaven" comment, etc.. I personally don't see how they help us evangelize, but then I now realize that I'm not in the primary audience anymore. I still wish he would make his comments less easy to misinterpret.
The first kind have a chance of digging themselves out of poverty. The second kind will never stop being "poor" until you stop subsidizing them.
Under Juan Peron, the Catholic bishops of Argentina praised the Perons for their "generosity" to the poor, never understanding that it was Peronist policies that caused so many people to be poor.
Catholic clergy should stay away from economic issues. Once they have said "Thou shalt not steal" and "Thou shalt not covet," anything more means they're out of their depth. Nothing in their priestly training qualifies them to make statements on economic policy.
Sounds like a license to excuse or tolerate any sin. And John Stott is not Scripture, which never endorses unity over error.
When they force me to participate in their sins, then I'll leave.
Then you'll have to define "participate." I think a strong case can be made that mere association with a sinning body is participation. Where do you think a portion of your offering goes?
Even those comments were not fully cited. With regards to Homosexuals, he actually stated, if those seek Christ with good will, then who am I too judge.
With respect to atheist, I think in many ways, Francis realizes that in many Western Countries, we are now in a post-Christian culture, so those atheist that have never had family members expose or model Christ for them, we have to recognize the potential for “invincible ignorance” is a real possibility today.
I agree his off the cuff remarks can be misinterpreted and used by secular sources for their own means but the article linked actually shows the entire statements and in that context, there is nothing wrong with what he stated. In the future, I think we are going to need the Catholic press and blogs to give us the full measure of Pope Francis’s statements, secular sources twist everything Pope’s say to fit their agendas. When they want to misquote or not accurately quote a Pope to go after the Catholic Church, they do so, when they want to use the Pope to try to show that he supports something they want, they do so.
Whenever I see a secular source quoting Pope Francis, I attach a discount factor to it that would rival what I would for “junk bonds” and I go to Catholic sources that I trust to get the entire quote and context.
Sounds like a call to stay in and reform rather than cut and run. Here is one evangelical Methodist theologian's response to calls for further schism: Do Not Rashly Tear Asunder.
Then you'll have to define "participate." I think a strong case can be made that mere association with a sinning body is participation. Where do you think a portion of your offering goes?
Cast that net too broadly and every American citizen who pays taxes is guilty of all sorts of sins.
And I should also point out that the quotation from John Stott is precisely to do with Scripture’s understanding of unity—it was delivered to rebut Dr Lloyd-Jones’ call for evangelicals to leave the Church of England at a gathering of English evangelicals (both CoE and not) back in the 1960s.
“I’m not going to demonize people who are otherwise orthodox Christians simply because they believe that socialism is a better system than capitalism, or because they vote Democratic. Theology is not politics, and politics is not theology.”
No one who is an otherwise orthodox Christian believes that socialism is a better system than capitalism (properly defined), and no one who is an otherwise orthodox Christian votes demonrat (except perhaps some of the elderly).
It is no longer possible to be a socialist and a decent person, or a demonrat and a decent person.
Theology most certainly is politics, and vice versa, and it could not be otherwise.
Good article. One can’t escape the call of the Gospel by sputtering, “Communist!” and turning away. “The community in Jerusalem were of one accord, and no one said that anything he had was his own.” I get so exhausted with just my own family and all the conflicting “Mine! Mine! Mine!” ... but don’t touch MY sports car - see, it’s got MY name on the title transfer! Who ate MY mushroom-tomato salad? Who drank MY Diet Coke?
“What have you that you were not given? So why, then, do you boast as though it were not a gift?” Everything is God’s. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and he owns “my” time, “my” ability, “my” money, “my” car.
That’s a very dangerous conflation of Christianity with conservatism you have there.
When it takes you that long to explain why you are not a communist - you’re a communist. But hey, who am I to judge.
“Thats a very dangerous conflation of Christianity with conservatism you have there.”
That’s a mighty dangerous ecumenical relationship you have with the left there.
It is not that Christianity and conservatism are the same thing. It is that a life lived according to Christian principles turns out to be a conservative life; and a life lived according to conservative principles leads one to Christianity.
I am speaking, of course, of life in what used to be Western Civilization. Conservatism in Israel is less likely to lead to conversion; and other countries similarly, mutatis mutandis.
As the hymn says, “No one can serve Him and despise another.” I’ll not despise someone simply because their politics are wrong.
“As the hymn says, No one can serve Him and despise another. Ill not despise someone simply because their politics are wrong.”
You’re not required to despise them. You are only required to see them for what they are, and to oppose them with all your will because they do Satan’s work. They are, to one degree or another, under his sway.
This is not solely a political disagreement, and it is certainly not one over which reasonable men can differ in good faith.
Evil always attacks good; that is its nature. The demonrats and leftards have been attacking and continue to attack everything good.
As St. John Chrysostom wrote, “He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins. For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices; it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but even the good to do wrong.”
When you treat demonrats and other leftists as you would want them to treat you—Wait. Isn’t that the Golden Rule?—you are displaying unreasonable patience.
The Golden Rule, properly applied, would require you to treat them as they would want to be treated **if** they were not blinded to the truth. Enabling is not kindness.
Do you think that demonrats who knowingly vote for politicians who support abortion on demand are in good with The Lord? How are they going to get back on the straight and narrow?
Whether you choose to deal with them with a show of patience, or with anger, it is incumbent upon you to see what they are, because that will help keep you safe from sophistry.
Giving people money never improves their economic status in life. All they do is spend the money, the money goes right back to those who had it before, and the poor stay right where they are.
“Giving people money never improves their economic status in life. All they do is spend the money, the money goes right back to those who had it before, and the poor stay right where they are.”
As a general proposition, quite true. However, there are still some things to say about it.
The Holy Father is not preaching redistribution of wealth by taking from Peter to pay Paul.
Distributism boils down to just about exactly what the US had in the 1950s. Many people owned houses, cars, boats, TVs, 40 acres for weekend getaways, farms...one man’s income was sufficient for a solid, middle-class life. There were opportunities to rise higher if you worked harder, and were lucky enough not to get knocked off the ladder. (After all, stuff does happen.)
People weren’t being given a living, but the jobs were there, and the schools prepared you for them. That’s Distributism.
Oh, and regarding your use of the word “never,” without my Navy pension and my disability, I’d be living in a cardboard box under an overpass.
Things have changed, just since I’ve been posting here. Then there were jobs; I worked hard, 60 or 70 hours a week, or more. Fairly recently I applied for a job cleaning out dog and cat cages. I didn’t get it.
There are still jobs, but they are few and far between. The actual unemployment rate has been around 25% for years now. I haven’t worked since 2010. We have little or no manufacturing. What are we going to do for employment, sit in a circle and sell a Coke to the person sitting to your right?