Even uber-liberal Washington Post notices Pope Francis’ lack of criticism of Castro regime September 23, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in catachesis, different religion, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Papa, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
Rorate Caeli has a post concerning Pope Francis’ political stands and his recent trip to Cuba. They note that his previous very strong criticism of capitalism in varying capitalist milieus was not repeated in the communist milieu of Cuba. PF also appeared to equate a leftist political-economic position with the “social doctrine” of the Church. Even more incredibly, however, even the very secular, very liberal Washington Post has noted the dichotomy (note, this was not an op-ed, but the Post’s own editorial board):
IN HIS visit to the United States beginning Tuesday, Pope Francis will meetnot just President Obama and Congress but also those marginalized by our society: homeless people, immigrants, refugees and even the inmates of a jail. He’s expected to raise topics that many Americans will find challenging, such as his harsh critique of capitalism. His supporters say it’s all part of the role the pope has embraced as an advocate for the powerless, one that has earned him admiration from both Catholics and some outside the church.
How, then, to explain Pope Francis’s behavior in Cuba? The pope is spending four days in a country whose Communist dictatorship has remained unrelenting in its repression of free speech, political dissent and other human rights despite a warming of relations with the Vatican and the United States. Yet by the end of his third day, the pope had said or done absolutely nothing that might discomfit his official hosts. [He did not on the 4th, either]
Pope Francis met with 89-year-old Fidel Castro, who holds no office in Cuba, but not with any members of the dissident community — in or outside of prison. According to the Web site 14ymedio.com, two opposition activists were invited to greet the pope at Havana’s cathedral Sunday but were arrested on the way. Dozens of other dissidents were detained when they attempted to attend an open air Mass. They needn’t have bothered: The pope said nothing in his homily about their cause, or even political freedom more generally. Those hunting for a message had to settle for a cryptic declaration that“service is never ideological.”
Sadly, this appeasement of power is consistent with the Vatican’s approach to Cuba ever since Raúl Castro replaced his brother in 2006. Led by Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the church committed to a strategy of working with the regime in the hope of encouraging its gradual moderation. The results have been slight. Cardinal Ortega obtained Raúl Castro’s promise to release all political prisoners, but arrests have continued and dissident groups say the number of jailed is now above 70. One leading Christian dissident, Oswaldo Payá, was killed in a suspicious 2012 auto crash.
In reference to the first paragraph, two questions: if immigrants and refugees are so marginalized, why are they so desperate to come here? And how many homeless and prisoners are in those states as the result of deliberate, destructive acts? There is a sense conveyed in much leftist rhetoric, and I’m sorry to say this rhetoric finds many echoes in the Pope’s statements, that being an immigrant, homeless, or prisoner is something that just happens to someone, probably most unfairly, instead of being the predictable result of deliberate acts. Homelessness is a special problem, the vast majority of homeless have untreated addiction or mental illness. In the latter category, changes in the law since the 80s have made it very difficult to institutionalize individuals with severe mental illness but who perhaps have moments of lucidity or who refuse treatment, under the guise of wrong-headed “patient’s rights” campaigns engaged by predominately leftist groups since that time. It is no coincidence that the “homeless crisis” burst on the scene in the early 80s, just as those laws were first going into effect and many state mental institutions were closed.
This is a most stark dichotomy: capitalism is railed against but leftist governments seem to get a pass. Capitalism and the monetary system are held up as objective evils, which is questionable from a doctrinal standpoint, while leftism in general and communism in particular – far more objectionable, doctrinally speaking – are spared the harsh invective. I think the Pope’s explanation of his political/social/economic viewpoint when directly questioned on the flight from Spain, as reported by Rorate, was very revealing. He truly believes his stand, Peronist as it is, falls squarely in the sweet spot of the spectrum of Catholic social doctrine.
We all tend to search for justification for our own personal political/economic views in Church Doctrine. It’s an aspect of our fallen natures. Some of us are blessed by Grace to come to realize that many of our previous beliefs were irreconcilable with the Faith and changed those beliefs by a conscious act of the will. One would like to think that a Pope would be particularly aware of this tendency, and, being Pope, would insure his will was bent totally to the mind of the Church. Is that what we see with Pope Francis, or is it the other way around – does he pick and choose from Catholic Doctrine to support his own preferences? Has this been a problem with several of the last 6 popes, and is that a significant contributory factor in the crisis afflicting the Church?
Another thing: I was stunned to learn that this is Pope Francis’ first trip to the United States. I have used a term some may find harsh to describe him, provincial, but, goodness, what other major prelate, especially those that might be considered papabile, has never made it to the US? Tagle, Rodriguez-Maradiaga, Kasper, Marx, Sarah, Turkson……these and many more have been to the US more than once, most repeatedly. I would imagine Cardinal Bergoglio was one of only a handful of the princes of the Church who had never been to the US. In this day and age, one would almost think he would have had to have deliberately avoided doing so.
For all our present problems, for all our drift into socialism, the US, rightly or wrongly, probably still remains the apotheosis of the liberal democratic capitalist society in the world. This is the kind of society the Pope has railed against many times. AND HE’S NEVER BEEN HERE?!? If his experience of “capitalism” is only what he’s seen in Argentina and South America, with maybe a smidgen of the severely messed up Italian system – or what he heard from the many left-wing organizations he flirted with in his youth, or the Peronist self-serving demagoguery of capitalism – then that would, I think, explain a very great deal. In his experience, then, “capitalism” means robber barons, it means putting it over on the poor, it means might makes right, it means very little rule of law, it means a small number of rich and a huge number of poor (and a very small middle class), it means corrupt governments and broken lives – in short, it’s a very bad thing. It’s an objective evil with virtually no redeeming characteristics. But is that an accurate or fair picture? Does socialism not lead to all of the same but to an even more marked degree, with even greater poverty, even less rule of law, even more corruption?
The “capitalism” of South America since the mid-20th century is hardly worthy of the name. It is more of a corrupt government-corporate-trade union oligarchy (the same applies to much of Europe, especially the PIGS). Argentina is one of the prime exemplars of this kind of system. Such gets labeled as ‘capitalism,’ but only because the people have little to no experience of the “real thing.”
And the biggest problem with socialism or leftism of any kind, is that it that very few people take just a little bit of leftism here or there. It tends to be an all or nothing proposition. So being a little bit leftist might mean denigrating things like pro-life prayer outside mills and eschewing “too much” focus on contraception. It might mean, subconsciously perhaps, feeling it unfair that those in concubinage with a valid first marriage shouldn’t be “punished” for their ongoing adultery. In other words, eventually, you get the whole leftist cultural-political-economic package.
You can’t get a little bit pregnant. It is impossible to reconcile leftism with the Doctrine of the Faith.