The Pope Comes to America

Pope Francis

So Pope Francis is touring the country this week and as usual the media is tripping all over themselves to find something, anything, sensational to talk about. The big kerfuffle of the moment is that the Pope is being “political” because he mentions things like immigration and climate change in his statements.

Well color me astonished that a world-renowned figure got a little political while visiting our nation’s Capital, a place where people literally eat, breath and sleep politics. Big whoop.

The Pope is not running for office, nor is he setting policy so why should I care what his politics are? Sure, that he seems not to understand the difference between free markets and crony capitalism is annoying and his refusal to mention abortion while touching on every other hot button issue during his speech to Congress left me a bit puzzled.

I am not a Catholic however and so am not bothered by the religious differences I have with this Pope, I am also not a Liberal and therefore I don’t care that I disagree with him politically.

What I do care about and am completely inspired by  is Pope Francis’s passion for the untouchables, those who because of illness, disability or extreme poverty are cast out, living on the fringes where few dare to go.

It’s scenes like the Pope openly embracing a man with severe leprosy, or stopping his motor brigade to tend to a disabled person  that leave me in awe. Even just a simple gesture such as yesterday when he turned down a meal with the Washington elite in favor of dining with the homeless, says much about this remarkable man. Surely the Holy Spirit is  alive in him.

It’s authentic you know, this Pope’s eagerness to roll up his sleeves and get down with the nitty gritty. It’s what people are responding to and why he’s so popular.  It is for me anyway.

Of course American politicians being who they are, there are those who will attempt to use the Pope as a way to further their political causes. They care nothing about his humbleness and certainly not at all for the teachings of his Church, which they are openly at war with. The Pope I’m sure knows this and graciously abstains from calling them out.

Pope Francis is a man of mercy and grace, the perfect spiritual leader for our times. This deserves honor.

Photo credit: http://www.catholic.org/prwire/headline.php?ID=11538

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108 Responses to The Pope Comes to America

  1. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Except for the holy spirit part, I completely concur – this is a Pope of a different color.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tricia, I agree with the core of your point. Pope Francis is clearly a deeply good man. It wouldn’t surprise me if his choosing to dine with the homeless instead of the high-society muckity-mucks was so automatic that he’s unaware the act itself was a powerful cultural statement. When I viewed the picture you linked to, of the Pope embracing the man with severe leprosy, it brought a lump to my throat — as it should to any normal person who’s genuinely capable of caring about more than just her/himself. I wish I were like that more often, and so instinctively.

    I also believe that all of his ventures out of the realm of religion and into adjacent public policy topics like economics and climate science are rooted in his devout advocacy for the world’s hungry, sick, and powerless. However, I’m a little more concerned about his economic and political naivety than you seem to be. You may be able to largely ignore those messages, but the entire coalition of the left certainly doesn’t ignore them. It’s more than just the leftist politicians that exploit the Pope’s non-religious statements. It’s the massive liberal conglomerate of news media, entertainment media, and the whole education establishment from K-12 and higher. In other words, ALL of the channels of information that feed the minds of most voters who aren’t students of conservative realism are gleefully amplifying Pope Francis’ every non-religious utterance.

    “Transference of Credentials” is a psychological trick played by the media and education thought-shapers — and by cunning public figures themselves — where a person’s expertise in one domain is leveraged to inflate their credibility in other unrelated areas of mere opinion. As I’ve already said, in this case I don’t think the Pope is being cunning, just extremely naive.

    As far back as some of Francis’ first speeches as Pope, I have heard many interviews of Republican politicians (especially those presumed to be future presidential candidates) where questioning turns to global warming, redistribution of wealth, welfare policy, etc. Katie Couric, for example, was interviewing Ted Cruz about global warming and she put him on the spot because the Pope says climate change is a big concern and must be stopped. Paraphrased: “How can you be a climate change skeptic when the Pope says it’s real and dangerous??” The “transference of credentials” from Christianity to climatology escapes me, but it was subliminally asserted by Couric because she knows most unsophisticated viewers(/voters) will just swallow it without a second thought. It’s dangerous, this manipulation of public opinion by advocacy-journalists like Couric.

    This comment is growing too long — sorry. (I know it’s discourteous to comment longer than a blogger’s article). But two final observations, if I may: 1) I don’t view the Pope’s silence on abortion and Planned Parenthood depravities as him just graciously abstaining from calling America’s leftists out. Frankly his silence really disappoints me. I’m reminded of the quote from 18th century Irish orator John Philpot Curran: “Evil prospers when good men do nothing.” 2) As Pope Francis travels the world, every socialist leader (elected or self-appointed) tries to exploit a photo-op with some kind of symbolic prop visible — whether it’s Obama packing the White House with LGBTQ activists, or Bolivian President Evo Morales presenting a carving of Jesus nailed to a hammer and sickle. The obvious motivation of these political leaders is to exploit the Pope’s apparent endorsement in order to strengthen their own ideological grip on the minds of their country’s gullible subjects. Why else would these otherwise-secular ideologues suddenly be falling all over themselves to hob-nob with a popular icon of Christianity?? For these reasons and others, it’s hard for me to shrug off the political overtones of this cultural spectacle. You and I may not be confused by the mixture of ideology with spirituality, but PLENTY of people are…unfortunately.

    Regards,
    – Jeff

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tricia says:

      Hey Jeff, I really appreciate this comment and am sorry it got stuck so long in my my “moderation” folder.” Perhaps some day I will take the time to learn the ins and outs of WordPress and thousands of comments formerly hidden due to my cluelessness will be released. Yeah, thousands of comments, dream on Trish! 😉

      Ok, I don’t have time to do your well thought out comment justice but I will say that I have thought long and hard about the Pope’s, shall we say affinity with Left Wing dictators and naivety towards being the “suck up guy that gives credibility” in the inevitable photos.

      Honestly I’ve caught myself being rather bitter toward the Pope at times and it kind of struck me. I’m not saying you or any of his detractors are bitter or don’t have valid reasons for being a bit alarmed (the refusal to meet with Cuban dissidents was a big one for me), but I guess I’ve also seen a lot of spiritual renewal with some people I know personally that is directly attributable to this Pope and I think that means something.

      I’ve been a fan of Pope Francis since he got elected, or chosen or whatever it is the Catholic hierarchy does to select a new leader. But, my enthusiasm for him had been waning a lot due to just what you express in your comment.

      Just the other day though I made a snide remark on a friend’s FB page who posted how he was excited that he got passes to go see the Pope and I told him to make sure he lectures the man on his mistaken views on capitalism. He graciously accepted my words but was not amused. The fact that my friend is politically to the right of Attila the Hun and whose picture shows up next to the word cynicism in the dictionary, made me catch my breath and think perhaps I was overlooking just how important Francis’s impact on people was. It was the inspiration of this post because it made me go much deeper in to my analysis of him. I felt ashamed honestly.

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      • More-so than most if not all of your other commenters here, I expressed agreement with your immense respect for the compassion and empathy that Pope Francis exhibits.

        So I’m not quite being a Francis “detractor”, just a frustrated observer of the accidental & detrimental side effects of his crossover ventures. The misconceptions drawn from his well-meaning comments (encouraged by the leftist thought shaping industries of media, entertainment, and education) make it even harder for conservatism’s fight against the political headwinds from the left.

        I’m mostly criticizing all the thought shapers that are blatantly exploiting the Pope’s political and economic statements. As soon as he leaves the country, they’ll return to their secular allegiances.

        – Jeff

        Liked by 2 people

        • Tricia says:

          Very true what you say Jeff and I agree, you have a firm grasp on the Pope’s good parts, better than most and I appreciate that. I’m sorry if I implied otherwise, I was just, I guess responding to that one comment, which I thoroughly enjoyed by the way.

          We’ll see what happens. Like I said I completely see your point about the problems with this Pope’s allegiance to not so great causes and people and the certainty of those that will (and already have) exploit him.

          Good stuff to chew on regardless…;)

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    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      It’s dangerous, this manipulation of public opinion by advocacy-journalists like Couric.

      Unless, of course, it’s done by the Religious right.

      Like

    • Citizen Tom says:

      @Jeff

      An astute observation. However, even though what you are saying is accurate, I don’t really see the problem as the Pope. The problem is a mass media invested in big government. The problem is a mass media the see environmentalism as a vehicle to bigger government. The problem is a mass media with too many connections to the government. The problem is a mass media disconnected from the welfare of our nation.

      Consider the matter in perspective. Compare the weight of the Pope’s opinion with the generally biased reporting on Global Warming. Is the Pope moving the opinions of others, or is the mass media moving his opinion and crowing about their victory?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. madblog says:

    When Mother theresa had the opportunity to speak to Clinton eyc, she went up one side and down the other about abortion.

    Liked by 2 people

    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      “What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.”
      — Agnes Bojaxhiu – ‘Mother Teresa’ —

      Like

      • madblog says:

        Are you saying that she was asserting that this is what she believed? She is paraphrasing Paul, except she has it backwards…

        Liked by 1 person

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          I’m not saying anything, I’m simply reporting.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Tricia says:

            No you’re not Arch, you’re editorializing, at least acknowledge it…;)

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Moi?

            Liked by 1 person

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Non, non —

            Liked by 1 person

          • madblog says:

            And maybe misunderstanding the meaning?d

            Liked by 2 people

          • madblog says:

            Can you explain to me what you think it means?

            Liked by 1 person

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            I think only Mother Teresa could accurately do that – oops, she’s dead —

            Like

          • madblog says:

            I said “Can you explain what YOU think it means?” You don’t know what you think it means?
            What was your point then?! Just random words?

            Liked by 2 people

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            I think it’s reasonable to believe she had her own doubts.

            Liked by 1 person

          • madblog says:

            I believe the quote you cited does not express doubt, but exactly the opposite. Try this from Paul:

            But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

            But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead…

            Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,

            “Let us eat and drink,

            for tomorrow we die.”

            Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God…

            Mother Theresa may have had doubts, as any thinking believer must (coming to faith requires examining said faith), but this quote is not evidence for unbelief but an assertion that that which she had spent her life for was worthwhile eternally.

            Liked by 2 people

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            I disagree with much of what you’ve said, but I didn’t come to Tricia’s to argue religion, that’s for another time, another place. See you at Colorstorm’s, another day.

            Liked by 1 person

          • madblog says:

            Actually, that is exactly what you did, and then you wouldn’t/couldn’t defend what you said. I’m not often at Colorstorm’s, but I guess that’s supposed to be another lame jibe.

            Liked by 2 people

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            And I’m accused of being argumentative —

            Liked by 1 person

          • madblog says:

            I apologize for appearing to be argumentative. I was only trying to get clarification from you about what you were trying to say so that we could actually converse about it. I didn’t mean to co-opt the thread or argue! And now back to the topic at hand…

            Liked by 1 person

          • Tricia says:

            I think arguing for what you believe in is important, it’s when the attacks turn personal that I don’t care for. Yeah, I know what I am doing on the Internet then? Lol.

            For the record madblog, I have not seen you personally insult anyone, at least on my blog. Arch I wish I could say the same for you but too often you veer in to ad hominem which drives me nuts because I know you know better and have seen good comments from you like your previous one on PP. I will respond to that this evening by the way.

            Liked by 2 people

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Liked by 1 person

          • Tricia says:

            Actually respectful debate is much welcome here which sometimes involves arguing. Keep it above bar though.

            Liked by 2 people

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Well, in that case (and I’m not entirely sure just where your bar is), re your comment:
            That would be a fine day indeed if more people realized that religious individuals and institutions have a right to inject their viewpoints and influence public policy.
            — from where I stand, they do more than enough of that already. And I wonder if you would be saying that if the religious individuals and institutions were Muslim. I seem to recall a group of Islamists who wanted to build a mosque near ground zero in NYC, who were strenuously opposed.

            Why is there a ‘sin tax’ on liquor and tobacco products? Because of religious influence. Why is there a copy of the ‘Ten Commandments,’ that no Hindu, nor Sikh, nor Buddhist, nor atheist supports, on the wall behind the Supreme Court? Judeo/Christian influence. Why do my dollars say, “In God We Trust”? Why does my pledge of allegiance to this country include, “under god,” when I reserve the right not to recognize a god?

            Why are certain members of Congress threatening to shut down the national government if Planned Parenthood is not defunded? Religious influence. For an excellent treatise on Planned Parenthood, which I honestly feel that even you, Tricia, would not be in disagreement, I suggest you read Valerie Tarico’s “If the Anti-Abortion Frenzy Were Actually about Abortion . . . What a Serious Anti-Abortion Movement Would Actually Look Like

            This form of government was established to protect the rights of the minority, as well as those of the majority – in fact, it was founded by members of persecuted minorities in Europe, who came here to escape that persecution, only in turn, to become persecutors themselves. If you don’t believe me, ask a Native American, if you can find one.

            I wish, just for a moment, you could attempt to view this country and its rules and regulations through the eyes of the un-religious, or a religion that is not Judeo/Christian-based, you might come away with a better idea of just how many laws are religiously-slanted and how much influence the religious already have in this country that spawned the Tea Party.

            Like

          • Tricia says:

            Well Arch, are you sure there aren’t any more Liberal talking points you want to touch on? 😉 I’ll just mention a few quick things. First, I don’t mind Muslims speaking out for or against public policy that they perceive goes with or against their religion, just as I don’t mind if Hindus, Jews and Christians do it and yes, even if those poor misinformed Scientologists did it too. It doesn’t mean said gripes should or will be acted upon (sometimes yes, sometimes no), only that it would be an odd society indeed if it were filled with people willing to stand down their values in the public sphere so as not to offend the archaeopteryx1 of this world. Than they would really be the hypocrites you’re always calling them.

            The so called “sin” taxes may have started out with the churches but have ballooned in to huge payouts for the government and ironically are more popular with the secular progressive crowd who can’t seem to stop sticking their nanny noses in to all aspects of our lives from soda consumption, to salt intake, to our toilets and lightbulbs for God’s sake. You’re not likely to see these taxes fade out any time soon and they have little to no connection with religious influence today.

            I’m not going to comment on you abortion/Planned Parenthood angle as I don’t see the relevance. There are many non religious pro lifers you know and both you and the writer of the blog post you linked to have strong fixed cartoon character narratives of people who believe life starts at conception, so I don’t care to jump down that rabbit hole with you. Big hint for you though, it has nothing to do with controlling women and/or our sex lives. My goodness why any man would even want to come near touching that subject with a 1,000 foot pole is beyond me but you truly never surprise me in your willingness to “go there”.

            The backbone of the American way of government is to protect the individual and his God given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness through a government of checks and balances, that for the first time in history provided power to the people over their rulers instead of the other way around. Religious freedom, free speech, private property rights and a strong rule of law enforced by a very limited government produced the most prosperous and free nation this world has ever seen and which has pulled more people up and out of poverty than any other form of government since the beginning of time.

            Sorry, that doesn’t really address your comment, I just felt like saying it since it’s my blog and all.

            Oh as far as Native Americans. They are an honorable people and yes, many were treated quite horribly by the first settlers. They also were not the happy, peace pipe smoking flower children they are often stereotyped as before those settlers arrived either, as violent inter tribal Indian brutality is well documented but yes, plenty of atrocities occurred.

            As I’ve mentioned to you before, you seem to have some odd narratives about me like I’m “religious” and incapable of seeing the world through other people’s eyes and that I have little to no contact with people of other ethnicities. Really you should have learned your lesson back when you claimed to somehow know I’d never met a black person and now you’re actually stating that I’d have trouble finding a Native American? I suppose I could have asked my ex boyfriend who is half Indian or perhaps my cousin who I had lunch with today and whose relatives on his mother’s side are Native American or perhaps even my own ancestors, if they were alive as it’s long been part of family lore that Native American blood runs through our veins. whether that part is actually true or not I don’t know but it’s fun to contemplate.

            Anyway, do yo see how silly you sound when you think you have people all figured out, strangers who you’ve never met and know little about but because of their religion or politics (proud Tea Partier here, thank you very much) you assign such negative qualities? It’s really a rather unpleasant trait Arch, you’re much more interesting when you drop that act. Here, try reading this for some context, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/424604/liberals-aversion-debate-david-harsanyi

            Alright my friend, cheers and good night.

            Liked by 1 person

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Wow – where do I start?

            secular progressive crowd” – I’m really confused – do not medical doctors of all religious persuasions caution against excessive salt intake or soda consumption, as well as environmentalists of all persuasions who suggest that we save energy by moving away from the incandescent light bulb, and that we need to conserve water by using less water to flush our toilets? I believe that’s true —

            I’m not going to comment on you abortion/Planned Parenthood angle as I don’t see the relevance.” – Did you actually READ the blog entry? You see, I, too (surprise!), am opposed to abortion, but this is one of the best articles on the subject I have ever read, and if you chose to ignore it, then I strongly believe that that’s your loss. Please reconsider.

            …but you truly never surprise me in your willingness to ‘go there’.” – Oh, ye of little faith —

            …that for the first time in history provided power to the people over their rulers instead of the other way around. Religious freedom, free speech, private property rights and a strong rule of law enforced by a very limited government produced the most prosperous and f(r)ee nation this world has ever seen and has pulled more people up and out of poverty than any other form of government since the beginning of time.


            Oh, please – this country is governed by roughly 400 people, whose money gives us the illusion that we, the people, are in control. They spend their money on whichever candidates most likely fulfill their needs, with PR writers who do such good jobs, that when their candidates win, we feel really good about what we have accomplished.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            …provided power to the people over their rulers” – If you really believe that, try getting a pothole filled, that will strip away your illusions of power very quickly.

            you should have learned your lesson back when you claimed to somehow know I’d never met a black person” – When did I ever say that? Are you sure you don’t have me confused with another proto-bird?

            Like

          • Tricia says:

            Does brevity ever com to mind when you write comments? 😉 I just got home after a 14 hour day and I’m not much in the mood to waste the few brain cells I have left with a lengthy response. Only this…..1.Having a doctor counsel you on suggested salt or sugar intake is thousands of degrees (millions?) different than nanny state law makers (yes, Democrats) forcing you by government decree to abide by THEIR suggested levels 2. You might be surprised to know that I am pro choice in some cases. 3. Yes, you accused me of not knowing any black people during a similar rant about God knows what completely off topic subject 4. I would never confuse you with anther proto-bird, dodo bird maybe but not proto….! Sorry I couldn’t resist. 🙂 Tomorrow is another long day as is Wednesday so off I go.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Does brevity ever com(e) to mind when you write comments?” – Rarely.

            Having a doctor counsel you on suggested salt or sugar intake is thousands of degrees (millions?) different than nanny state law makers (yes, Democrats) forcing you by government decree to abide by THEIR suggested levels.” – I can’t help wondering where they (yes, Democrats) get those levels – doctors?

            2. You might be surprised to know that I am pro choice in some cases.” – We’re getting closer, did you read the article I recommended? If not, will you? I’m serious, it’s great.

            3. Yes, you accused me of not knowing any black people during a similar rant about God knows what completely off topic subject.” – With a near-eidetic memory, I have no memory of this – any chance, when you have some time, you could look it up?

            4. I would never confuse you with anther proto-bird, dodo bird maybe but not proto….” – LOVE it!

            Tomorrow is another long day as is Wednesday so off I go.” – Hi ho, hi ho –!

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Oops (Rick Perry), must have forgotten a “>” at the end of my “strong” —

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Tea Party? REALLY? You seem so normal!

            Like

          • Tricia says:

            Yes really Arch. Perhaps if you get over your own fixed narratives about such things you’ll start seeing people for who they are personally and not by what “groups” they belong to.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            It’s been so long, I forgot what we were talking about.

            Like

          • Tricia says:

            Try some ginseng, good for the memory in aging brains. 😉

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            The only brains that don’t age, are dead ones. I even scrolled back up, and I couldn’t find any comment you might have been referring to. It’s not like I just disregarded your comment, I really tried understanding what you meant. Maybe I didn’t scroll far enough. Shame the comments don’t stack.

            I’m up super-early this morning, in an effort to get a peek at Jupiter through my telescope as it rises in the east, it’s spectacularly bright, but first, coffee.

            Like

          • Tricia says:

            Actually Mother Teresa went through decades of darkness when she was fighting madly with depression. Through all of this she said she never once gave up her faith in God, even through the toughest times and feeling spiritually dead. Seems the lady did not have her doubts at all.

            Liked by 2 people

  4. madblog says:

    Sorry, I posted before I was finished! Woops. …that’s *etc.*

    Opening his arms to the downtrodden is kind of in his job description and as such, is not in my humble opinion, worthy of praise. He lives like an emperor and is sitting on untold wealth in art alone; and if he gets out of a little car, everyone swoons. Please.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Have you ever seen a Sarah Silverman video called “Sell The Vatican, Feed The World?” If you haven’t, and you don’t mind a little bit of strong content, look it up on YouTube. It’s quite funny, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tricia says:

        I used to be think Sarah Silverman was funny but she just seems unnecessarily mean to me. I do appreciate your comment though Gabriel, always nice to have you come by. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          I am certainly not a member of the “Obscenity” Police by any means, but Sarah Silverman is even too smutty for me! I know, she wants to be a contemporary Lenny Bruce and break conventions that she feels needs breaking, but on her TV show, she kissed her dog’s a**, and frankly, I saw no humor in that, and I tuned in to laugh. There’s “obscenity” for the sake of humor, and that works much of the time, but in Silverman’s case, it’s not as much about funny, as, “I do it because I can..” The entertainment industry is not so much about propriety, as it is about ratings, and outrageous = ratings.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Tricia says:

            Too smutty for you Arch? Well than you know things are bad indeed! Actually I agree, I certainly am no smut censor but SS’s humor has really devolved. Gabriel I hope you don’t think we are piling on you here, I’m sure the video you posted is funny, I’ll take a look at it later.

            Like

    • Tricia says:

      I hear what you’re saying, I just disagree. This Pope brings out an enthusiasm in people who for whatever reasons are turned off by Christianity, which I think is a good thing. All the frills come with the job and he’s actually done much to not partake in a lot of them. He seems genuine to me, not perfect but all in a all the world is better with him in it.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Dennis says:

    I kind of agree with Madblog. Lets take away the religious aspect of the Pope and look at the Catholic Church as a Nation. The Vatican is a country controlled by a Dictator who sets the rules others must live by. They have a wall around the country and do not take in immigrants or let women live there except under extreme circumstances. The country collects “taxes” from all it’s members thru voluntary tithes and collections from all its collection centers (Church’s) throughout the world. The governing body(Priest Bishops Cardinals) is highly political and infighting is a constant threat to each member of the ruling class and advancement is not based on merit so much as favoritism. If a ruling member is accused of a crime (molestation of children for example) the crime is covered up or the victim(s) are paid off with tax dollars.
    This Pope is from a Socialists country and he has done nothing to help the poor and down trodden. He does not understand that capitalism has done more to lift the poor from poverty then the Catholic Church has ever done. Why does he not sell some of the Church’s art or artifacts and help the poor and downtrodden? No he lays a guilt trip on parishioners to fork over more money that does not do much in the way of helping the poor but does buy fuel for the jet and cars modified to protect the Pope.
    No Pope in my memory has done much to truly help the poor.
    I did not leave the Catholic Church, it left me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Ha, nice analogy Dennis, spoken like a true ex Catholic! Like I said I’m not Catholic and don’t know all the ins and outs of proper Popery but I do know that the aid groups run by the Catholic Church (little Sisters For The Poor, Catholic Charities for example) have helped the poor immensely and in areas few would venture. The Vatican doesn’t earn money from individual church collections either, they get their money I believe mostly from tourism nowadays. And I’m not arguing that it isn’t run by corrupt entrenched bureaucrats but that’s been going on long before Pope Francis came on the scene and he’s doing a to to clean house. He’s also raffled a lot of Vatican luxuries and given the money to church charities and doesn’t live in the main Vatican palace as all other Popes have done but in a more humble residence.

      I get why people are frustrated with this Pope, I really do. He’s not here to teach us economics however, but to remind us of our moral duty to help the less fortunate and to inspire hope for those who have none. Based on those measures I think he’s been quite a success.

      Like

    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      Here you go, Dennis:

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tricia says:

        Indeed those stats are probably correct Arch BUT, that assumes all the monies collected would actually go to food stamps, when in reality after sifting through the swamp drainage of federal govt bureaucracy probably about a 1/3 of it will make it through. Plus I don’t view getting people addicted to govt services as a good thing. Short term help yes but that’s a quant and long gone concept.

        Liked by 1 person

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          Yes, well, as soon as I said ‘Food Stamps,’ I knew that was a quagmire. I think California has an excellent system – if you are on wellfare (and I was), if you get a job (which I did), you still get 1/2 food stamps and ADC for three months, while you adjust to your new situation.

          Liked by 1 person

      • archaeopteryx1,

        In addition to agreeing with Tricia’s points about government inefficiency and entitlement addiction, I would add this: That meme is a one-sided analysis (if a meme can even be considered in the same sentence as the word analysis). Where’s the list of things that would cease to be accomplished by the churches because they no longer had that money to help communities with? And why do you think money to help the poor is only effective if controlled by the fist of government (through mandatory taxes and unaccountable spending), and not helpful if managed by religious charities?

        Withholding half the story isn’t the way to persuasively convince people your point is valid. What’s the whole objective picture? That’s what convinces me.

        – Jeff

        Liked by 2 people

        • Tricia says:

          “if a meme can even be considered in the same sentence as the word analysis”, oh if truer words could be spoken! 😉 Good point too on the money the charities that are actually doing some good will lose out on if taxed.

          Liked by 1 person

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          Where’s the list of things that would cease to be accomplished by the churches because they no longer had that money to help communities with?

          I would have to see the stats on that – how much they take in, vs how much they contribute to the aforementioned projects and what are their actual operating costs – would you happen to have those?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Citizen Tom says:

            @Arch

            When government tries to be charitable with other people’s money (that is stealing, BTW), it is doing so in imitation of the Christian church.

            The Christian church has been practicing charity for a long time. Go read the Bible. The Apostle Paul thanks his converts for helping him to collect money for needy Christians.

            Government, on the other hand, has been buying votes with other people’s money for an even longer time. Have you ever heard the expression “bread and circuses”? “Bread and circuses are what the Caesars used to pacify the Roman mob. The practice began when Roman politicians, like the first Caesar, used us own money to buy votes. Once in power, it is easier for a dictator to buy support with other people’s money. The alternative is a police state. That is the true difference between an authoritarian and a totalitarian state. In a totalitarian state, the government does not bother trying to buy support. It simply kills those it perceives as a possible threat.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Tricia says:

            @CT…well said.

            Liked by 1 person

          • archaeopteryx1, I do not have at my fingertips the data you neglected to bring to the table to validate your claim that it would be better to rescind the tax exempt status of churches. I don’t need to prove a negative. In structured debate, the onus is on the instigator to prove the positive.

            I feel you’re reactively shooting from the hip, shotgunning various anti-religious and anti-evangelical-Right quips that are apparently “snappy” to you but seem more intended to sting others like barbs. Readers can judge (both of us) for themselves, but your tactics comes across as tangential sniping to me, on which I have no more time to spend.

            – Jeff

            Liked by 1 person

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            In structured debate, the onus is on the instigator to prove the positive.” – I wasn’t aware that this WAS a structured debate, I thought it was a conversation. My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.

            And SO many gun references! “shooting from the hip – shotgunning – sniping” – belong to the NRA by any chance?

            I fear you take yourself, and life in general, far too seriously – come to think of it, your title really says it all, doesn’t it – “Necessary and Proper“?

            Had you titled yourself “Unnecessary and Improper,” I might have found you a much more interesting conversationalist.

            Like

          • Tricia says:

            I’ll leave the comment Arch but I don’t like it, You’re straying in to jerk territory again.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Just jerking back.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Tricia says:

    Great post by Chris Warren that adds some perspective on the history of Popes in the past and their role in politics. Give it a read! http://twentyfirstsummer.com/commentary/pope-francis/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chris Warren’s article is very good, although drawing conclusions from historic comparisons crossing 4-5 centuries is rarely enlightening. The 20th and 21st century are an entirely different geopolitical and institutional backdrop than the 15th and 16th centuries.

      I loved Warren’s implied point that it’s hypocritical for liberal Americans to cheer the Pope’s crossover comments about politics, economics and climate science — while those same liberal American’s lambaste any and all religious American businesses for the slightest expressions of their religious objections to today’s societal issues. Do religion-derived opinions have a place in public policy discourse or not, liberals? Make up your mind.

      – Jeff

      (p.s. Tricia, I sent you an email this evening about this insightful article. Keep up the good writing!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tricia says:

        Hey Jeff, I completely agree with you that comparing 15th and 16th century events to today’s happenings is not always helpful. In this case I think it’s warranted because Warren is limiting his criticism to to the media’s ridiculous attempts to somehow portray this Pope’s stepping out of bounds as having never been done before. And yes the hypocrisy shout out was great!

        I haven’t checked my WP email and will do so now. I really need to switch the address as emails from this site tend to get lost among the shuffle. Thank you though for your kind words of encouragement!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Citizen Tom says:

    Reblogged this on Citizen Tom and commented:
    Like so many other Americans, I too have been swamped by the news media’s coverage of the Pope’s visit to the USA. Unfortunately, I did not know how to express my mixture of disgust and admiration for the man. So I left the subject alone.

    Fortunately, I came upon this post.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Tricia says:

    Excellent article by Peggy Noonan today in the Wall Street Journal that expresses many of the sentiments here. http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-two-sides-of-pope-francis-1443140607

    They have a pay wall so you might not be able to access the whole thing. It can sometimes be gotten around by googling the title which is “The Two Faces of Pope Francis” and then clicking on the WSJ link that shows up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, Peggy Noonan did an excellent job capturing the dichotomy between heavenly Francis and earthbound Frank. His address to Congress on Thursday was much less ideologically charged than the speech he gave to the UN the next day.

      One of Ms. Noonan’s closing paragraphs captures the same spirit you aimed for here, Trish: “[Left-wing American Catholics] were sometimes graceless and grudging toward past popes. I don’t see what conservatives gain by playing that part now. When a much-loved pope comes to visit there’s a kind of moral imperative to good cheer.” There are plenty of angles to debate the Pope’s ideology (and zillions of columnists and bloggers doing it), but that would have hijacked your intent here. Nice job on just focusing on the fact that this Pope has non-religious opinions to express in the civic arenas of the world, and we ought to be open to that.

      Perhaps it could lead to a re-opening of the “settled” debate about Hugo Black’s 1947 mythical “wall of separation between church and state” (which is only supposed to be a one-way barrier). Maybe Pope Francis will prompt more secular Americans to realize that religious individuals and religious institutions have a right to inject their viewpoints into the civic arena and to influence public policy. It’s called pluralism.

      (BTW, the google search to get around the pay wall is “The Two Sides of Pope Francis”.)

      Regards,
      – Jeff

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tricia says:

        Excellent points Jeff, I will have to dive in to your links later but I get the general gist. That would be a fine day indeed if more people realized that religious individuals and institutions have a right to inject their viewpoints and influence public policy. Thank you for the correction on the article title too. What can I say it’s been a heck of a day! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. La Sabrosona says:

    Wow, there’s so many “paw prints” on this post. Lots of tracks through the mud and snow and forgive me if I haven’t read through all of them, but I wanted to say hi and well done on an excellent post. I went for a lovely walk the other day and stopped to talk to a 90-year-old Italian-born Canadian with a thick accent. He said he never goes to church and that he doesn’t care much for the pope because the pope does nothing to help the massive influx of refugees from Syria mostly, and has offered them inadequate shelter in church’s instead of organizing something more permanent and feasible especially for families with children. Imagine having a bunch of kids running around a church, a Catholic church, and the priests running after them and shushing them. What a nightmare.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Watching the eclipse of the moon this evening, I couldn’t help but remember the words of Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, the first man to sail around the earth. He said, “The church has said that the Earth is flat, but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow, than I do in a church.

    Hey, don’t blame me – he said it, I didn’t —

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: My Article Read (9-26-2015) (9-27-2015) | My Daily Musing

  12. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Tricia, have you met the Australian, Peter? He’s a former Christian, youth pastor, and held several other titles within his church. He is totally without sarcasm and vitriol, you might have some interesting discussions with him and at the same time, see that we’re not all abrasive.

    I could invite him over here, but I wouldn’t without your permission – not trying to do a “dog-pile-on-Tricia” move —

    Like

  13. ColorStorm says:

    Hey tricia, hope all is well-

    Just wanted to add two cents and say you were fair and artful here, in what is usually a highly charged and sensitive topic.

    Well done. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Thanks ColorStorm, I appreciate that. I realize not everyone agrees with what I wrote about the Pope. I found myself very conflicted about him myself and decided to work through that with of course a blog post. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I couldn’t agree more. He has a touch of the Princess Diana’s about him who regardless of her naysayers broke a lot of protocol by allowing people in an aids ward to embrace her, showing the world that it is not to be feared.
    He is indeed bringing a ‘Jesus-ness’ back to the papacy which was missing for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

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