Monday, January 31, 2022

Pope Francis is more political activist than pope

Though he's hardly alone in that.  It's just Catholicism, unlike Protestantism, has a few restrictions that make simply tossing out an old teaching you no longer like a bit difficult.  And therein lies the tension I think.

Pope Francis uncritically takes leftwing talking points and narratives at face value.  He just does.  On those rarest of occasions where he calls out a leftwing sin - say homosexuality or abortion - he's ever so careful to make sure he only condemns the sin, not the sinner.  And then, to hedge the bet, he also makes it clear it doesn't really matter if you endorse or engage in these sins.  Not optimal perhaps, but certainly not a deal breaker. All one big, happy family.  The important thing is that you accept at face value, as he accepts at face value, an endless string of leftwing narratives, platforms and agendas: global warming, immigration, gun control, systemic racism, the latest Covid-19 solutions, and on and on.

His wrath is forever aimed at faithful Catholics who believe that Catholicism is somehow uniquely important.  What's worse, they believe its teachings are really non-negotiable.  Or they attend the Latin Mass, which seems to bother Pope Francis more than Larry Flynt bothered Jerry Falwell.  And if you question these various leftwing narratives or agendas, he comes down on you like white on rice.  Not only does he condemn your position, but he's not adverse to hyper-politicized rhetoric, and even some select judgementalism aimed at your motives and inner thoughts. 

Sorry, but that's as useful to Catholicism, or even authentic Christianity, in the modern world as an accordion is for deer hunting.  The fact that the majority of Catholics no longer believe entire reams of Catholic teaching doesn't seem to bother him.  In fact, what appears to bother him is that there are Catholics who care that the majority of Catholics no longer believe in Catholic teaching.  And Catholics who jettison Church morals for some abortion, sex, drugs and hedonism?  Again, it doesn't seem to bother him.  If confronted, that's when we learn how little he wants to judge anyone. 

Sometimes it's like Ohio State's football team letting Michigan's coach coach us in the big game.  I don't think Pope Francis cares if I, or anyone really, is necessarily Catholic.   If we are and agree with his politics as first priority, that's fine. Maybe even the best.  But he's made it clear by his rhetoric and his priorities that he'd rather you reject God altogether and never grace the doors of a Church as long as you agree with him on his political stances.   Hate to say it so bluntly, but I have as difficult a time seeing Pope Francis as a religious leader as I do seeing late night activists as comedians. 


  1. I suspect you think you know more about the Catholic faith and being Pope than our Holy Father.

    perhaps you could explain to us why we should put our faith in your opinions instead of the Pope's.

    for the record, I believe we have an obligation to care for migrants in need, we have an obligation to respect and cultivate our physical environment. that is my interpretations of Francis' political positions. it is sad that you disagree and use them to encourage opposition to the Pope.

    I do believe Francis could be better served by those who provide him with information. but the suggestion his words are not heartfelt attempts to bring souls to Christ is absurd and demeans, not just him, but our Lord as well.

    1. I'm sure I don't know more about Catholicism than the pope. But I do know politics, and that's my beef. His passion and, quite frankly, intolerance appears centered around various political and ideological movements and narratives than the world's embrace of, or rejection of, the Gospel. That's what I said. I just feel he would be happier for me not to be Catholic and agree with his political stances than vice versa. And I'm assuming he knows the difference between his political opinions and the Gospel.

      As for issues like immigrants or the environment, I'm at pains to think of anyone who doesn't believe as you believe. But that's different than the decidedly political spins on these issues. And it's those spins, rather than the heart of the issues, Pope Francis seems to accept.

      FWIW, I don't think it's those around him. Nor do I think he isn't heartfelt. It's the priorities that he's heartfelt about that's the problem.

  2. Thank you for a civil and thoughtful response. I don't always get them on the internet.

    He does make observations that are relevant to today's political issues. Where we differ is that I understand his comments as they relate to the faith. Whatever he says will be understood by some of his listeners as primarily political. I see them more as nuanced attempts to steer the debates towatd our Lord. You are correct that he is very non-confrontational. That's his style. I totally give him the benefit of the doubt. I hear him more in the light of the apostle Paul's teaching on love.

    Not sure which letter, but St. Paul writes about if I have all the knowledge in the world but do not have love my knowledge is worthless (I paraphrase his words).

    St. Paul goes on, I am sure you are familiar with his words, love is kind, love is not boastful ...

    It is interesting how two serious men differ in their understanding of the same words.

    Anyway, God bless you. Please include me in your prayers.

    1. Sorry, missed the comment in the lists. Yes, I try to run a friendly blog here, and leading by example is hopefully the best way.

      Please understand, I'm not saying the pope should never be involved in politics. Better that they are and admit it than insist they aren't when it's clear they are.

      But my problem with Pope Francis is that he seems to wrap everything up in politics. Are you Catholic? Are you even Christian? Does it matter to Pope Francis? I know he speaks of the importance of Christ here or God there. But his focus, his wrath and - quite honestly - his judgmentalism is reserved exclusively for those who don't reject the Gospel or even attack the Faith, but those who question the political narratives such as Global Warming, or Immigration reform, or Covid measures.

      Those are where he seems to spend his energies, and where he is - to use his words - very rigid. That is my problem. Not that he doesn't reflect the problem in our churches today, where politics has become the dominant force like everywhere else. But as pope, I think he should be leading us away from that to where you point out; that is the love and the devotion to God we're called to embrace. Not the political narrative.

      BTW, it's in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians.

  3. I absolutely do not believe he is trying to undermine Sacred Tradition or Sacred Scripture. That's what matters to me.

    The fact naysayers to his leadership come from all political persuasions indicates to me that he is doing a good job.

    My own personal political persuasion, living in a constitutional democracy, is to support the candidate who appears most capable of carrying out the demands of the office he seeks.

    However, as a Catholic, I recognize that Jesus Christ is King. He was not elected. Consequently, my primary political allegiance, (as such it is) is to a monarchy.

    1. I don't know about Pope Francis and what he's doing to Sacred Tradition. My observation is that where he comes down like a ton of bricks tends to be around more politically charged issues. Whether you do or don't follow Jesus or care about Catholicism doesn't appear to rile him much. But if you disagree with the latest Covid measures or Global Warming, he comes down on you like white on rice.

      Have you ever noticed that? If he does say something like 'marriage is man and woman' or 'abortion is murder', he tends to stop there. He certainly doesn't condemn those who indulge in the same. But let people question Covid measures, or open borders immigration, or Global Warming, and he doesn't just condemn their positions, he condemns them, often impugning their motives or making sweeping judgments against them.

      I remember when he said people complaining about the lockdowns probably don't even care about poor people starving in the world. That was a terrible thing to say. How does he know? And these people, many just small business owners scraping by themselves, were watching their livelihoods be wiped out. And yet that was Pope Francis's appraisal of them for daring to even question the lockdowns (which, per Johns Hopkins, ended up doing little good but tremendous damage). That's what I notice about Pope Francis.


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