Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the 78-year-old Argentinian known to the world as Pope Francis, made his first trip to the United States this week, bringing his uniquely progressive papal perspective. Almost a quarter of the U.S. population identifies as Catholic, but as a global religious leader, the pope’s influence extends far beyond the Catholic community. The pope has been frank in his criticism of much of the core of U.S. society: capitalism, consumerism, war and the failure to confront climate change.
A benevolent dictator, perhaps. Though, in fairness, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo have never accused Pope Francis of being implicated in the "disappeared " actions taken by other Catholic leaders in Argentina. And, yes all religions are wrapped in paradoxes and contradictions. If they'd had helicopters during the Salem Witch Trials just think how many bodies would of washed ashore on the East Coast. There are, of course, bodies still washing up on the Atlantic shores but those are mostly organized crime figures, people who went long on Microsoft stocks, invested in Florida real estate or were potential witnesses against the federal gov'ts coordinated corruption with Wall Street bankers..
Francis, like all his predecessors, sits atop a vast sum of undisclosed, untaxed, unregulated assets and income. His church is not compelled to disclose any information regarding the amounts or how the wealth is invested or spent. Morever, these facts of the humble, infallible, palace-dwelling monarch are almost never mentioned.
For all we know, Francis is merely another Donald Trump, except with more tact and better PR.
It amazes me how staggeringly unskeptical liberals can be. Anyone talking the talk, we just roll over like puppies for them.
In at least in one aspect, the US has changed for the better: it was not too long ago when, imitating the British, anything that smacks of the Pope or "popishness" or the Catholic Church itself was anathema to certain sections of the mass media.
To say the Catholic religion (including any of the world's other major religions) is full of contradictions, is un understatement of the nth degree. From this female's perspective, it's a bunch of hooey from beginning to end, because they all have a basis in the complete subjugation of women. Some have quit burning women (witch hunts), but it doesn't change the fact that men are considered superior to women right down the line. And of course that begs the question of why so many women are so ardent in their faith when they cannot hold equal status in the church, and presumably from there, in the eyes of God/Allah. The Catholic church has some real peculiarities around sexuality (lifetime abstention, priests and marriage, no female priests) along with acts of pedophilia, which is going to be a very hard thing to live down, and rightfully so.
It has been declining in numbers for some time, and is not attracting young people at the same rates it was just decades ago. Enter Pope Francis. This man really is a breath of fresh air, and I will give the church the props they deserve. It is so fine to see a global religious leader speak with authority about the stewardship of our communities, taking care of the individuals in them and the environment in which we live. He will surely start drawing people back to the faith and attracting younger folks, because he really believes what he's preaching and that's what many of them want to hear. It's what the power brokers need to hear as well, and folks here in the US are just eating up his comments directed at the power brokers and moneylenders. Modern media is certainly contributing to his popularity on a global basis, because to a large extent he is a populist and a humanist, and it shows in his speech and behavior.
But none of this changes the record. Women are still second-class in the eyes of the Catholic church. Witch hunts still happened; pedophilia still happened, and Junipero Serra is becoming a saint. To sum it all up, for many on the left Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders are in the same boat. If either man were to abandon their affiliation, they would please some folks, but slip into oblivion where few will hear their message.