While Pope Francis’ speeches call for helping the poor and seeking social justice, in practice he aligns with political movements that want exactly the opposite.
Let’s not kid anyone. Pope Francis is not an expert in economics or environmental issues. He did not write his latest encyclical. Political advisers did.
He does not understand how free markets work, otherwise he would not be calling for an end to capitalism.
He does not recognize the difference between capitalism and corporatism.
His speeches are filled with desdain towards the only economic system responsible for the most important developments in science and technology that humanity has seen since the times of the caves.
The Pope equals capitalism to corporate monopoly and calls for the end of free enterprise while inducing his followers to demand radical social and cultural change.
Francis baffles even his most fervent followers. Some conservatives describe his ideas as those that come out of a surreal populist figure that uses the theology of liberation.
While some people urge his critics to understand his ideas beyond the media noise that supposedly portrays him as a leftist, most people with basic knowledge of science and politics know that this Pope’s arrival to the top of the Catholic Church is equivalent to Barack Obama’s election as US President.
His latest encyclical on ecology widens the gap between Jorge Mario Bergoglio and a large sector of the conservative movement who are for the most part Catholics themselves.
Conservatives have had plenty of signs for concern. First, it was the Pope’s criticism of what he called unbridled capitalism. After his words of sympathy for homosexuals: “Who am I to judge” And now, the first encyclical in which the Pope blames large companies and governments for the current wave of climate change. His document disqualifies the ambiguity of many world leaders and the Catholics on global warming.
The misunderstandings between conservative Catholics and their spiritual leader have occurred since the Vatican conclave elected Bergoglio in 2013. The last episode has a special significance for two reasons.
First, the enormous spiritual and theological depth of the document, and second, the encyclical published yesterday coincides with the early stages of an election campaign in the United States and the start of a new climate change meeting in Paris.
Most Republican candidates doubt the scientific consensus on the human causes of climate change, while more and more countries doubt that a centralized global government, a proposal of Bergoglio himself, would be the solution to environmental concerns.
There are five Catholics among the candidates for the Republican nomination for the American presidential election in 2016. Two of them are among the favorites: Jeb Bush, who converted to Catholicism as an adult, and Marco Rubio, a practicing Catholic.
On Wednesday in Iowa, Bush nuanced his criticism of the Pope and asked for the search of solutions to climate change without harming the economy. “I hope my priest does not rebuke me for saying this, but my neither my bishops, nor my cardinals, not even my dad dictates economic policy to me,” he said.
In a country founded on the separation of church and state, Bush’s words do not sound so strange. Reminiscent of those uttered by John F. Kennedy, the only Catholic US president, in a speech during the election campaign of 1960: “I believe in an America (…) in which no official position requires or accepts instructions from the Pope on public policy “.
One argument heard in conservative Catholic areas is that, in economics, the Vatican’s competence is questionable. The Pope is not an economist. Why Catholic politicians should listen to his advice?
The argument applies to climate change: “I think we’d be better if we let scientists deal with science,” said the presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, also a Catholic.
Another more sound argument than simply saying that the Pope is not an economist or a scientist is that we must relativize Bergoglio’s ideas and understand them in the context of Argentinian and Latin American populist and ideological situation in which he grew up.
It is not exaggerated to say that the relationship between the Catholic right and the Vatican is and will continue to be tense. Francis, with his apparent benevolent and tolerant message, struck right and seduced President Obama, who has spoken about inequality in many of his speeches, but that just as the Pope, does not lead by example.
The Pope, as the head politician of a rapidly decaying institution has decided to join the movement to take humanity back to the Dark Ages by criticizing the good, equaling it to the bad and offering no real alternatives to do away with what he thinks is wrong. In doing so, he’s helping set up a system of government where the Church and the ‘Kings’ are supreme and the people are all at their mercy.
As many good ideologues, the Pope has tried to play his followers as fools adopting widely held globalist positions that will not, not matter how great the effort, be the solution to the concerns he expresses in his speeches.
But Francis has done something even worse than being a populist with no real solutions. He has used his position one of the most influential global leaders to bamboozle millions of Catholics into submitting to their governments by promoting the creation of a world government and calling for the surrender of their God given natural and constitutional rights.