Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Oh, that wacky Pope

By Richard Barry

And I'm just getting started.

Hey, how often do you get to write a headline like that?

The point, though, is that Pope Francis is making some conservatives very unhappy.
Catholic Republicans are developing a pope problem. Earlier this month, Francis recognized Palestinian statehood. This summer, he’s going to issue an encyclical condemning environmental degradation. And in September, just as the GOP primary race heats up, Francis will travel to Washington to address Congress on climate change.

You gotta laugh. One problem with JFK's candidacy was the fear that, as a Catholic, he would be compelled to take direction from Rome. If only Catholic Republicans would do that now, they would be a much more interesting party.

Also funny, as Politico notes, Republicans who have concerns about the Pope's progressivism are flipping a"familiar script in which Democrats like John Kerry and Joe Biden were labeled 'cafeteria Catholics' when their stances on social issues like abortion and gay marriage differed from those of the church."

Morality is complicated. Who knew?

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  • The truth is that Pope Francis isn't that different from earlier popes. It is a question of focus. And the last two popes were pretty vile in their focus. It is tragic the number of people who died in Africa of HIV because of John Paul II's emphasis on the evils of condoms. All he really needed to do was STFU. Francis is more like John XXIII. But still: it is mostly a matter of focus.

    Still, that's what we see everywhere among Christians. Most Evangelicals will tell you that they care about the poor. They will even give money to help the poor. But their focus is on abortion and how other people have sex.

    The mistake people make is in thinking that their focuses (Foci?!) are the right ones and anyone who doesn't agree is an apostate. Frankly, when I look at American Christians, all I see is one big vibrating apostasy. It isn't so much that they don't follow their own religious teachings as that they don't even know what they are. Certainly early Christians would not recognize modern Christians as such. And medieval ones would burn the modern ones at the stake. But somehow most modern Christians are certain they they are keepers of The Truth™.

    What's refreshing in Francis is his humility -- something that isn't shared by those who called for John Kerry to be refused the communion.

    By Blogger Frank Moraes, at 10:55 PM  

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