T H E  N A T I O N A L  S P E C T R U M

A M E R I C A ' S  D O T  C O M M E N T A R Y©


May 19, 2015


Pope Francis is wildly popular around the civilized world, especially among progressive protestants and the mainstream  media. Few criticize him as, to them, he appears to be loosening the Church's teachings on gays, divorced Catholics and birth control. While hating to throw cold water on the progressive parade, none of those doctrinal changes is in the offing and none is likely to happen. The most likely of them would be the divorced Catholic question. As to the others, never.


Though true to his Church, Francis is a quasi-communist, aka a social justice warrior of Jesuitical and Argentinean origins. In other words, he proffers an unsuccessful philosophy based on his life in an unsuccessful country and society. Since his papacy began, he has berated people who have been successful in the world of commerce, waxed warmly for his fellow-travelers in Cuba, decried the fact of inequality in the world and told Americans to cease and desist their antipathy toward illegal aliens invading their country. He is, in that last point, a Jeb Bush clone. Each is, at best, mis-guided. The Pope's comments are in fact stupid. They may make him feel good and be popular with some but they cannot happen in a free world.


The Catholic Church, my Church, is a communist style organization, i.e., centrally managed, not for profit but for the self-perpetuation of its narcissistic vision of this world and the next. It has commandments, rules and its own written dogma from whence none may stray under the pain of excommunication and eternal damnation. To maintain this structure requires utter believers and faith above all. Critics are unwelcome; debate is limited; change is as slow as it is rare. In its all-male environment, women are unwelcome as equals which, somehow, seems to escape Francis' notion of equality.


Francis' views on economics is amusing coming from a man who has never earned a penny in his own life living exclusively on the charity of those who function in the commercial world he finds so distasteful. Note that one rarely sees a slender bishop or Pope: they are, to a man, more than well-fed but members of their flock are, by the millions, often gaunt, enslaved or both. In Los Angeles, where I live, the recent Cardinal, Roger Mahoney, suffered from the edifice complex as do many church-types. He spent hundreds of millions on a cathedral few attend without any care as to how that money could have been better used to benefit his needy faithful. Mahoney has been sent off to undistinguished retirement for his conduct in protecting the pedophile priests within his management. One rarely, if ever, hears from or about him these days but those many millions are sunk in the ground, unavailable to those in need.


Fortunately for politically conservative Catholics, the Pope's political philosophy is not binding. Jesus saw to that when He said: Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's.

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jim sweeney

Jim Sweeney




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