To get one thing out of the way about Pope Francis, it is refreshing to see the head of the Catholic Church eschew pomp and ceremony, which are entirely superfluous to biblical teachings and yet virtually synonymous with Catholicism for almost 2 millennia.
Unfortunately, outside of that serious alarms are ringing out. Namely, the sinking feeling that he whole-heartedly sanctions coercion by the state for political, and spiritual, ends.
…that equitable economic and social progress can only be attained by joining scientific and technical abilities with an unfailing commitment to solidarity accompanied by a generous and disinterested spirit of gratuitousness at every level. A contribution to this equitable development will also be made both by international activity aimed at the integral human development of all the world’s peoples and by the legitimate REDISTRIBUTION OF ECONOMIC BENEFITS BY THE STATE, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society.
Sure, one can tack on that bit about cooperation as a kind of disclaimer, but that by the State part makes the cooperation mandatory. Catholics, your beliefs are your own, and your decisions likewise. But it has simply become apparent that your church leadership is decreeing free market economics and libertarian philosophy as “un-Christian”. One high level cardinal that was one of the contenders for Pope when Francis was selected was far more blunt about it.
While Pope Francis is the leader and current driving force in the church, he isn’t really the source so much as his appointment is a product of this influence on church philosophy. The effect of this philosophy has been showing itself downstream in the church. One example is this mission statement from Millennial, an online publication aiming to build bridges between millennials and the Catholic Church.
Catholic social teaching is twisted, stretched, and distorted to fit ideological agendas that are infected by a RADICAL INDIVIDUALISM that cannot be reconciled with the personalism and communitarianism at the heart of Church teaching.
Radical individualism? It’s not the notion that it is sinful to be greedy and selfish that is bothersome and, frankly, disturbing. It’s the idea that you have to support, fund, and vote for bloated, ineffectual, wasteful, and encroaching State programs to demonstrate one’s Christian bona fides.
Here’s a bonus quote from the same post:
… Catholics are called to apply enduring principles to contemporary conditions in order to promote human flourishing and establish the global common good.
Let’s look for a real world example. Someplace that is both Catholic and “social” out the yang. Ohhh… say, Venezuela. How’s that working out? Oh yeah…
Pictured: Modern Catholic Doctrine’s Ideal State (also: Venezuelan Food Line)
Here’s a new quote, by me. I plan to use it often from now on.
Leftism, in all its forms, lives off of the lack of self-awareness of its proponents.
Rush has his “Limbaugh Theorem”, now here’s mine. The examples are virtually endless. The Catholic church does immense charitable work around the globe, particularly in the worst places to be a human being, but how are these charitable works funded? By the devout Catholics in free markets tithing their portion of their success- err… greed. All this is done in the name of the poor. The church is biting the hand that not only feeds the poor but provides the most successful way to become not poor.
It doesn’t end there. The Pope also said something interesting when discussing ISIS:
You just can’t say that, just as you can’t say that all Christians are fundamentalists. We have our share of them (fundamentalists). All religions have these little groups…
So the POPE equated Christian fundamentalists with ISIS. Isn’t the Pope supposed to be the biggest fundamentalist? Then there’s his stance on climate change. If he genuinely believes these things, fine, but he’s using his position to challenge one’s faith commitment if they don’t as well or seek a different solution than more government. Particularly unsettling when the State strives unceasingly to be the golden calf.
And people always shouting about separation of Church and State, feel free to jump in any time here. The Pope is openly advocating the use of expanded State authority to accomplish Church goals.
Ah, but therein lies the rub. The smoke that indicates there’s a fire here can be seen in one particular comment from the HuffPo article.
This agnostic once again is impressed with this Pope.
Just how could that be a problem? It’s not me that says so:
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. IF YOU BELONGED TO THE WORLD, IT WOULD LOVE YOU AS ITS OWN. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
John 15 18-19
Whether or not a given person reading this believes these words is irrelevant. The point is he’s supposed to believe them. It’s what one would call a job requirement.
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