Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis Should Heed The Advice Of The Late, Great Yogi Berra

The Pope told Obama he's not happy about the abortion culture, so Obama told the Pope he's pissed about the Crusades...WH Press Secretary Tweet (satire)

Full disclosure. I'm a Roman Catholic, albeit not a good practicing Catholic (I'm still practicing at being a better one.) I'm also a former member of a religious order. However, I won't disclose which one. I don't want to embarrass them.

As I write this, Pope Francis concluded his address to Congress. He's also taking a lot of heat from conservatives for some of his positions especially on climate change, capitalism and immigration. And while I agree with some of those critics, I'm more disappointed at his failure to focus more on the genocide of Christians around the globe and abortion. (To be fair, he did mention abortion briefly in his remarks at St. Mathew's yesterday as well as the importance of families and the sanctity of life in his speech today.) Nevertheless, in my opinion, his speech to Congress today would have sent a more powerful message if he took advantage of highlighting both issues more. In addition, I was also disappointed he didn't meet with the dissidents of the Cuban regime, especially those imprisoned. After all, when he visits Philadelphia this weekend, a prison visitation is on his agenda.

If you recall, after he was elected Pope, he quickly became a hero to progressives. He appeared in Rolling Stone (on the cover too) and the Advocate, a gay publication, featured Pope Francis as their "Person of the Year." This was shortly after he said, "If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge." Initially, one could understand their euphoria. But what they didn't understand was that this Pope had no intention of changing Church doctrine when it came to same-sex marriage and even abortion. Church doctrine in both areas remains as it has been.

Regarding his position on global warming, he said it's one of the major problems facing the poor. Unfortunately, it's not. (The earth has cooled and warmed for billions of years and climate changes minute by minute.) Even as polls continue to show that global warming comes in last place in most rankings---even among the poor---it's this warped ideology of progressives and socialists that has created a larger poor class of people (while also shrinking the middle class). Not only have we seen this occur in most South American Socialist regimes, but we've even seen this phenomena result from the policies of our own government in the last seven years. The fact is economic growth results in the betterment of human lives and drives many poor out of poverty. We've seen this occur in many parts of the globe as in many former Eastern European nations after they unshackled themselves from Communism two decades ago.

The Catholic Church has always focused on the poor. It's also one of the reasons the Church has also been directly involved with both legal and illegal immigrant populations. That's not going to change. It's always been one of its primary missions. In many respects, it should surprise no one. In addition, Pope Francis and his liberal ideology were formed by the socio-economic environment of Argentina, the country of his birth and his vocation as a priest. During the mid-1970's to the mid-1980's,  Argentina was involved in what was known as the Dirty War. In that war, the right-wing military and security forces fought against left-wing guerrilla groups including Marxist groups. Much of this had to have an impact on his view of capitalism and the plight of poor people.

I have no doubt Pope Francis is a good man with good intentions. He has a lot of charm and is overflowing with compassion. However, like many of his critics, I believe some of his priorities are skewed. And as he continues on his journey through parts of our nation, I hope he heeds the advice of the late Yogi Berra: "You can observe a lot just by watching."