Pope Francis Betrays Blablabla…

Art by Rob Goldstein
And it came to pass, that as he was come near to Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging

Today my liberal media at AT&T/Yahoo had this as one of the headlines: Pope Francis Betrays Christianity By Romanticizing Poverty

It’s an essay in The Federalist from Maureen Mullarkey.

Ms. Mullarkey says: “Writing in Forbes last year, Steve Moore, a Catholic, asked:

“What is the theological case for telling those in the poorest villages of the planet where people still live at subsistence levels, that they have a moral obligation to save the planet by staying poor and using less fossil fuels, less energy and electricity?”

She does not offer a source for her quote so I did some research.  This is the essay she quotes:

Vatican’s Turn To The Left Will Make The Poor Poorer

I was curious about when Pope Francis specifically tells “..those in the poorest villages to stay poor…”

Art by Rob Goldstein
Does the Pope really tell the poor to stay poor?

He doesn’t.

Here’s what the Pope says:

“As I have often said, and now willingly reiterate, business is “a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving our world”, especially “if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good” (Laudato Si’, 129).  As such, it has a responsibility to help overcome the complex crisis of society and the environment, and to fight poverty.  This will make it possible to improve the precarious living conditions of millions of people and bridge the social gap which gives rise to numerous injustices and erodes fundamental values of society, including equality, justice and solidarity.”

Vatican Radio

Pope Francis isn’t telling the poor to stay poor, he’s telling the rich to open their wallets.

There is a theological case for this:

Luke 14:12-14 He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Matthew 25:34-36 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

Ms. Mullarkey says: “…On the flight back to Rome from Mexico, Francis admitted the orphic quality of his preoccupation with poverty: “The word ‘people’ is not a logical category. It is a mystical category.” In this euphoric apparition, the pueblo—the indigenous poor—are a primal entity. Poverty retains a hint of Eden, and the poor are themselves agents of redemption for the developed world.

Mullarkey provides no context for her quote from Pope Francis.

What does she mean by the “orphic’ quality of the Pope’s preoccupation with poverty?

The Orphic religion is an ancient Greek mystery cult so there may be elements of it in Christianity.

I think the intention here is to imply that there is something ‘pagan’ about this Pope.

Pope Francis made the comments from which she quotes in an interview that he gave on a Feb 17, 2016 flight from Mexico to Rome:

Javier Martinez-Brocal, Rome Reports (Italy): We’re not back to Rome yet but we are thinking about future trips, about preparing our suitcases again. Holy Father, when are you going to go to Argentina, where they have been waiting for you for a long time? When will you return to Latin America? Or go to China? Then, a quick comment, you spoke many times during this trip about dreaming – what do you dream about? And what is your nightmare?

Pope Francis: China. (laughs) To go there. I would love that. I would like to say something just about the Mexican people. It is a population that has a wealth, such great wealth, a people that surprises. They have a culture, a culture that goes back millennia. Do you know that today, in Mexico, they speak 65 languages, counting the indigenous languages, 65. It is a people of great faith. They have also suffered religious persecution. There are martyrs, now I will canonize two. It is a population that you can’t explain, you can’t explain it because the word ‘people’ is not a logical category, it’s a mythical category. The Mexican people, you cannot explain this wealth, this history, this joy, the capacity to celebrate amid these tragedies that you have asked about. I can say another thing, that this unity, that this people has managed not to fail, not to end with so many wars, things, things that are happening now. There in the city of Juarez there was a pact of 12 hours of peace for my visit. After that they will continue to fight among themselves, no? Traffickers. But a people that still is together with all that, you can only explain with Guadalupe. And I invite you to seriously study the facts of Guadalupe. The Madonna is there. I cannot find another explanation. And it would be nice if you as journalists – there are some books that explain the painting what it is like, the significance, and that is how you can understand better this great and beautiful people.

Pope Francis is speaking specifically about qualities that he ascribes to the culture and people of Mexico.

“…the word ‘people’ is not a logical category, it’s a mythical category. The Mexican people…”

The Pope’s use of the word ‘people’ is not political in this context.

He illustrates his point by referring to the vision of Juan Diego.

Art by Rob Goldstein
Our Lady of Guadalupe


Now, what about the Pope’s preoccupation with poverty?

Luke 16:19-25 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony.

According to Catholic Dogma the Pope is the Vicar of Christ.

This Pope is preoccupied with the teachings of Christ.

That’s his job:

The Pope, as head of the college of bishops, enjoys this gift of infallibility in a unique sense. As pastor and supreme teacher of all the faithful, and charged with the responsibility to confirm his brothers and sisters in the faith, the Pope may proclaim as definitive a point of doctrine touching faith and morals.

When the Church, by her Magisterium, proposes something to be believed as being revealed by God in Jesus Christ, a Catholic is obliged to adhere to the definition with the obedience of faith. When the Magisterium proposes something not in a definitive way but so as to help the faithful in a better understanding of God’s Revelation, a Catholic is obliged to give to such teaching the religious assent of his spirit.

It is the Pope’s role, as it was that of Peter, to guide the community of Christ’s faithful, to safeguard them in the truth, and to confirm his brothers and sisters in the faith made possible in Jesus Christ.

Church Government and Papal Primacy

Ms. Mullarkey says: Therein is the core of Francis’s “theology of the people.” A strain of liberation theology, it lends a Christological gloss to Marxist theorizing. Tinged with neo-völkisch romance borrowed from the Europe it disdains, Francis’ theology mythologizes the poor, particularly the ethnic poor: native peoples, mestizos, those on the shadow side of Western history.

The use of the term neo-völkisch romance is another implication that the Pope is pagan.

A Nazi Pagan.

And what does Mullarkey mean when she refers to “…native peoples, mestizos, those on the shadow side of Western history…”

I’ll be fair and assume that Mullarkey is referring to Jungian archetypes and not race. Either way the analogy is historically inaccurate and elitist.

Again, here is the interview that she doesn’t cite.

If I can verify the context of the quotes she chooses why can’t she?

Or is the question why won’t she?

The rest of Mullarkey’s malarkey is here: Pope Francis Betrays Blablabla…

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Art Young 1917

 

 


 

 

12 thoughts on “Pope Francis Betrays Blablabla…

    1. I think that she and all of her classist compatriots on the right have an ax to grind. The piece isn’t even a well written hit piece. It’s so intellectually lazy that a guy in a small San Francisco apartment can tear it apart by fact checking it in under ten minutes.

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