Francis in Cuba

 

From an editorial in the Washington Post:

A Cuban dissident is prevented by securiThe pope is spending four days in a country whose Communist dictatorship has remained unrelenting in its repression of free speech, political dissent and other human rights despite a warming of relations with the Vatican and the United States. Yet by the end of his third day, the pope had said or done absolutely nothing that might discomfit his official hosts.

Pope Francis met with 89-year old Fidel Castro, who holds no office in Cuba, but not with any members of the dissident community — in or outside of prison. According to the Web site 14ymedio.com, two opposition activists were invited to greet the pope at Havana’s cathedral Sunday but were arrested on the way. Dozens of other dissidents were detained when they attempted to attend an open air Mass. They needn’t have bothered: The pope said nothing in his homily about their cause, or even political freedom more generally.

m.5207_pope-john-paul-krakowCare for a contrast? Just look at this picture of Francis’s predecessor, St. John Paul II, embracing Lech Walesea, the leading dissident in Communist Poland. It is possible to reign as supreme pontiff, remaining, fundamentally, above politics — and yet to stand with those fighting for human liberty.

Photo above: AFP/Getty via the Telegraph

Published in General, Religion & Philosophy
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  1. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Tommy De Seno:

    Frank Soto:

    Tommy De Seno: Not talking to the bad guys makes war more likely.

    You think the Pope is giving the bad guys a serious talking to?

    On an apostolic visit? Is he supposed to do that?

    That’s one of the points of my taking issue with the OP.

    Who knows what took place in private.

    I’m befuddled by Peter holding up JPII as “the way it’s done” when he did not meet with dissidents when he came to Cuba either.

    Tommy, I don’t disagree with you, but again, we are still confronted with different sorts of behavior.  If Francis actually does keep his apostolic visits all consistent, I don’t have much of a problem.  But, as Frank pointed out, he clearly sees it as his role to call out evils, and he seems to call out some evils far more than others…  Are you arguing that Francis may be calling out us capitalists by name because he understands that we won’t go around murdering people (i.e. that “tough love” I earlier referenced), but he calls out the dictators in private because he knows they will react poorly to public humiliation?  To be honest, that seems exceedingly charitable, and like something of a stretch…  What of the fact that his public actions, regardless of his private actions, are likely to bolster some of the worst actors who observe them?  That is not to say that any of us should be free of chastising – to preempt Casey’s previous strawman – but that there is a broader impact to Francis’ choices regarding who to, and who not to, publicly chastise.

    Also, I don’t think we can sanitize away the context in order to make his immediate actions seem better.  Consider Francis’ take on global warming, his stance on fracking, etc…  All of that provides a broader picture that is useful.

    • #91
  2. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Tommy De Seno:

    Concretevol:

    Casey:Have we conservatives really gone this far off the deep end?

    No wonder nobody agrees with us. No wonder we’ve lost everything.

    How are we off the deep end?

    Hypocrisy.

    Pope failure to meet dissidents in Cuba – labeled bad thing.

    Pope failure to meet dissidents in White House – labeled as good thing.

    Who are the dissidents he is failing to meet in the White House?

    • #92
  3. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Casey:

    Ryan M: misdirection

    Is it really impossible that you were unclear?

    It is improbable, Casey, considering the bulk of my statements.  Nowhere did I suggest that Francis should not speak to whatever evils he sees in a capitalist country … that was made clear by the paragraphs surrounding my comment, which you did not address.  But – let us assume that I was unclear – it has been known to happen on many occasions!  Can I clarify?  Do my other comments help with that?  What about a response to what I said in comment 51?

    • #93
  4. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Frank Soto:

    Casey: And/or perhaps he believes that Y, reluctant to accept his message, is best approached gently

    Got it. The capitalists should be increasingly brutal in order to insure a gentler hand from the Pope.

    And this is why we lose.

    • #94
  5. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Tommy De Seno:

    Concretevol:

    Casey:Have we conservatives really gone this far off the deep end?

    No wonder nobody agrees with us. No wonder we’ve lost everything.

    How are we off the deep end?

    Hypocrisy.

    Pope failure to meet dissidents in Cuba – labeled bad thing.

    Pope failure to meet dissidents in White House – labeled as good thing.

    Isn’t that actually sort of the point of our system?  We don’t have political dissidents the way Cuba does.  We have well-represented parties and well-represented lobby groups.  Who do you suggest might qualify as a dissident here in the United States?

    • #95
  6. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Bereket Kelile: If the Pope can’t be a prophetic voice then what is he good for? At that point he’s just a Latin American Marxist wearing a funny-looking robe.

    You say this as if the funny looking robe and hat aren’t in and of themselves an unambiguous good.

    • #96
  7. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Ryan M:

    Tommy De Seno:

    Concretevol:

    Casey:Have we conservatives really gone this far off the deep end?

    No wonder nobody agrees with us. No wonder we’ve lost everything.

    How are we off the deep end?

    Hypocrisy.

    Pope failure to meet dissidents in Cuba – labeled bad thing.

    Pope failure to meet dissidents in White House – labeled as good thing.

    Isn’t that actually sort of the point of our system? We don’t have political dissidents the way Cuba does. We have well-represented parties and well-represented lobby groups. Who do you suggest might qualify as a dissident here in the United States?

    Agreed.  You’re twisting yourself into knots trying to make this analogy, Tommy.

    • #97
  8. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Ryan M: Do my other comments help with that?

    Perhaps

    • #98
  9. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Frank Soto:

    Casey: And/or perhaps he believes that Y, reluctant to accept his message, is best approached gently

    Got it. The capitalists should be increasingly brutal in order to insure a gentler hand from the Pope.

    The (emphasis for Casey) problem with capitalism is that it requires free people acting of their own free will producing some goods, consuming others, and trade in order to be effective. Gulags and murder are inconsistent with that whole freedom thing that is apparently the root of all evil or something.

    We can try it Frank, but I don’t think the brutality thing is going to work on the free markets.

    • #99
  10. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Casey:

    Ryan M: 1) I make a point about the disconnect in the claim that Francis is supposedly luring flies to the molasses in one system while calling by name in another system, and requested an explanation.

    If your question is “Why is he more critical of X than Y?”, then perhaps it is because in his view X presents greater moral hazards than Y. And/or perhaps he believes that Y, reluctant to accept his message, is best approached gently. And/or perhaps X needs a little shaking up.

    Does that address your question?

    Once again, you are being far too charitable.  If he believes that capitalism represents a greater moral hazard than tyranny, I’d kind of like to hear you make that argument.  Keeping in mind the context of his quotes, not inventing a creative plausible explanation out of whole cloth.

    Casey, in a jury trial, defense attorneys very often attempt to do the very thing you’re doing.  Come up with an explanation that is possible given the facts (well, ignoring some facts and emphasizing others).  The prosecution’s response is a pretty simple one.  Let us say you have 20 minor events that take place, all of which can be explained by an extremely simple observation, say, that “X is a socialist.”  In arguing that “X is not a socialist,” you need to give 20 different explanations, all of which are somewhat different, but all of which just happen to contribute to the same misunderstanding.  It is far more likely that the simplest explanation is the correct one.

    Consider the “burglar’s toolkit.”

    I had a flashlight because I like to go camping.  I have the punch-awl because I was fixing a door earlier today.  I had the pliers because my sink was broken.  I was out at night because I was thirsty and wanted a drink from 7-11.  I was in this neighborhood because on my way to 7-11 I decided to take a walk to gather my thoughts; I had a fight with my girlfriend yesterday.  I was peeking into that car because there was a light flashing in there…

    … or maybe you’re a car-prowler.

    • #100
  11. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    I don’t read the Washington Post. Can someone tell me if they had an editorial entitled:

    “President Barack Obama appeases the Castros in repressive Cuba”

    • #101
  12. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Ryan M: or maybe you’re a car-prowler.

    I’m not saying the pope isn’t what he is or doesn’t believe what he believes.  I’m not making that argument at all.  I don’t really care much about that.

    I’m upset as a conservative, not as a Catholic.  We’re so stinking bad at this.  We want to sit in our little 10,000 person enclave yelling “You’re wrong!  All of ya!”

    So the pope talks like all the people outside our little enclave talk.  Is that because he opposes our enclave?  No, it’s because he’s never heard of our little enclave.  Is that his fault or our fault?

    You people need to realize that the world has been paved over with asphalt and we’re a blade of grass growing through a crack.

    • #102
  13. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Casey:

    Ryan M: or maybe you’re a car-prowler.

    I’m not saying the pope isn’t what he is or doesn’t believe what he believes. I’m not making that argument at all. I don’t really care much about that.

    I’m upset as a conservative, not as a Catholic. We’re so stinking bad at this. We want to sit in our little 10,000 person enclave yelling “You’re wrong! All of ya!”

    So the pope talks like all the people outside our little enclave talk. Is that because he opposes our enclave? No, it’s because he’s never heard of our little enclave. Is that his fault or our fault?

    You people need to realize that the world has been paved over with asphalt and we’re a blade of grass growing through a crack.

    ok, but this is a substantially different argument than the one you and many others have been making over the past few days/weeks.  If conservatism is a blade of grass through cracks in the asphalt, than I’d think the Church should be even more so.  As GK Chesterton pointed out at the beginning of Orthodoxy, there is nothing about the rising and falling of the waves of popular politics that should influence the Church.  Therefore, it should not matter one wit if the whole world is paved over with socialism; the pope, and the church, ought to stand equipped to recognize that tyranny is notably worse for those things about which Christ calls us to be concerned.

    I think you grossly underestimate the negative impact of having a pope who is willing to rise and fall with those waves of popular opinion, rather than standing solid with the Church in a consistent manner.

    • #103
  14. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Ryan M: ok, but this is a substantially different argument than the one you and many others have been making over the past few days/weeks.

    Others maybe but me no.  I’ve been chronically depressed about the state of conservatism ever since joining Ricochet.  That’s the only argument I ever really make. Albeit, usually in joke form.

    • #104
  15. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Casey:

    Ryan M: ok, but this is a substantially different argument than the one you and many others have been making over the past few days/weeks.

    Others maybe but me no. I’ve been chronically depressed about the state of conservatism ever since joining Ricochet. That’s the only argument I ever really make. Albeit, usually in joke form.

    Well, I think most of us are chronically depressed about the state of conservatism.  It is why I don’t have a facebook account.  Better put, the popular politics of the day, in which conservatism is consistently misunderstood/misrepresented, and people are content to wallow in the sort of nonsense that today passes for intelligent thought.  If I was a Catholic, I’d be even more depressed to see my pope attempting to justify that popular thought biblically.  As a protestant, my family recently left a church that has been doing the same thing to a much greater extent (you can read about the exploits of the PCUSA church in many places).  I can have a great amount of sympathy/empathy for those who are distraught by this pope’s political leanings…  what I find almost equally as distressing is those Catholics who prefer to bring the “burglar’s toolkit” defense, seemingly out of fear that criticism is somehow heretical.

    • #105
  16. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Umbra Fractus:

    Tommy De Seno: On an apostolic visit? Is he supposed to do that?

    Yes. The Pope’s #1 job is to save souls. He looked evil, the Castro brothers, in the face yet made no attempt to reform them.

    How much do you want to bet he has stronger words for Paul Ryan than he did for the Castro brothers?

    Didn’t a previous Pope do that long ago, with Castro declaring “call me Catholic?”

    Rings a bell.

    • #106
  17. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Ryan M:

    Tommy De Seno:

    Frank Soto:

    Tommy De Seno: Not talking to the bad guys makes war more likely.

    You think the Pope is giving the bad guys a serious talking to?

    On an apostolic visit? Is he supposed to do that?

    That’s one of the points of my taking issue with the OP.

    Who knows what took place in private.

    I’m befuddled by Peter holding up JPII as “the way it’s done” when he did not meet with dissidents when he came to Cuba either.

    Tommy, I don’t disagree with you, but again, we are still confronted with different sorts of behavior. If Francis actually does keep his apostolic visits all consistent, I don’t have much of a problem. But, as Frank pointed out, he clearly sees it as his role to call out evils, and he seems to call out some evils far more than others… Are you arguing that Francis may be calling out us capitalists by name because he understands that we won’t go around murdering people (i.e. that “tough love” I earlier referenced), but he calls out the dictators in private because he knows they will react poorly to public humiliation? To be honest, that seems exceedingly charitable, and like something of a stretch… What of the fact that his public actions, regardless of his private actions, are likely to bolster some of the worst actors who observe them? That is not to say that any of us should be free of chastising – to preempt Casey’s previous strawman – but that there is a broader impact to Francis’ choices regarding who to, and who not to, publicly chastise.

    Also, I don’t think we can sanitize away the context in order to make his immediate actions seem better. Consider Francis’ take on global warming, his stance on fracking, etc… All of that provides a broader picture that is useful.

    WHOLE LOTTA stuff there I didn’t say.  I know you phrased as “are you saying” so I guess the answer is no.

    How do we know much wasn’t already done in private?   Didn’t Obama credit the Pope from working in the background regarding the new relationship?

    • #107
  18. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Frank Soto:

    Ryan M:

    Tommy De Seno:

    Concretevol:

    Casey:Have we conservatives really gone this far off the deep end?

    No wonder nobody agrees with us. No wonder we’ve lost everything.

    How are we off the deep end?

    Hypocrisy.

    Pope failure to meet dissidents in Cuba – labeled bad thing.

    Pope failure to meet dissidents in White House – labeled as good thing.

    Isn’t that actually sort of the point of our system? We don’t have political dissidents the way Cuba does. We have well-represented parties and well-represented lobby groups. Who do you suggest might qualify as a dissident here in the United States?

    Agreed. You’re twisting yourself into knots trying to make this analogy, Tommy.

    I’m not understanding the disagreement with my making this comparison.

    Isn’t the criticism here that he is not standing up to one group that he should disagree with (the commies)?

    And isn’t another criticism I’ve been reading all week that the Pope should not have to stand up to another group he disagrees with (the transvestites, et. als.)?

    Are those positions not incongruous?

    I’m not saying anyone here holds both, but I’ve read the first objection here, and plenty of the second elsewhere.  What’s a Roman Bishop to do?

    • #108
  19. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Tommy De Seno:

    Frank Soto:

    Ryan M:

    Isn’t that actually sort of the point of our system? We don’t have political dissidents the way Cuba does. We have well-represented parties and well-represented lobby groups. Who do you suggest might qualify as a dissident here in the United States?

    Agreed. You’re twisting yourself into knots trying to make this analogy, Tommy.

    I’m not understanding the disagreement with my making this comparison.

    Isn’t the criticism here that he is not standing up to one group that he should disagree with (the commies)?

    And isn’t another criticism I’ve been reading all week that the Pope should not have to stand up to another group he disagrees with (the transvestites, et. als.)?

    Are those positions not incongruous?

    I’m not saying anyone here holds both, but I’ve read the first objection here, and plenty of the second elsewhere. What’s a Roman Bishop to do?

    I can respond to this by just re-quoting Ryan.  We aren’t relativist here.

    An Obama like equivalence “Iran oppresses women in horrific ways, but the U.S. also has a bad track record with women as evidenced by the gender wage gap” is beneath us on the right.

    You are telling us that sure, Cuba jails opponents of their oppressive regime, but republicans and democrats disagree about policy, so isn’t that the same thing?

    • #109
  20. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Frank Soto:

    Tommy De Seno:

    Frank Soto:

    Ryan M:

    Isn’t that actually sort of the point of our system? We don’t have political dissidents the way Cuba does. We have well-represented parties and well-represented lobby groups. Who do you suggest might qualify as a dissident here in the United States?

    Agreed. You’re twisting yourself into knots trying to make this analogy, Tommy.

    I’m not understanding the disagreement with my making this comparison.

    Isn’t the criticism here that he is not standing up to one group that he should disagree with (the commies)?

    And isn’t another criticism I’ve been reading all week that the Pope should not have to stand up to another group he disagrees with (the transvestites, et. als.)?

    Are those positions not incongruous?

    I’m not saying anyone here holds both, but I’ve read the first objection here, and plenty of the second elsewhere. What’s a Roman Bishop to do?

    I can respond to this by just re-quoting Ryan. We aren’t relativist here.

    An Obama like equivalence “Iran oppresses women in horrific ways, but the U.S. also has a bad track record with women as evidenced by the gender wage gap” is beneath us on the right.

    You are telling us that sure, Cuba jails opponents of their oppressive regime, but republicans and democrats disagree about policy, so isn’t that the same thing?

    Didn’t Umbra Fractus blacken my eye in comment number 82 with the opposite idea, that it’s the Pope’s job to save souls in each instance?

    Can’t you guys get together and agree to beat me up with a common thought?

    • #110
  21. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Tommy De Seno:

    Ryan M:

    Tommy De Seno:

    Frank Soto:

    Tommy De Seno: Not talking to the bad guys makes war more likely.

    You think the Pope is giving the bad guys a serious talking to?

    On an apostolic visit? Is he supposed to do that?

    That’s one of the points of my taking issue with the OP.

    Who knows what took place in private.

    I’m befuddled by Peter holding up JPII as “the way it’s done” when he did not meet with dissidents when he came to Cuba either.

    Tommy, I don’t disagree with you, but again, we are still confronted with different sorts of behavior. If Francis actually does keep his apostolic visits all consistent, I don’t have much of a problem. But, as Frank pointed out, he clearly sees it as his role to call out evils, and he seems to call out some evils far more than others… Are you arguing that Francis may be calling out us capitalists by name because he understands that we won’t go around murdering people (i.e. that “tough love” I earlier referenced), but he calls out the dictators in private because he knows they will react poorly to public humiliation? To be honest, that seems exceedingly charitable, and like something of a stretch… What of the fact that his public actions, regardless of his private actions, are likely to bolster some of the worst actors who observe them? That is not to say that any of us should be free of chastising – to preempt Casey’s previous strawman – but that there is a broader impact to Francis’ choices regarding who to, and who not to, publicly chastise.

    Also, I don’t think we can sanitize away the context in order to make his immediate actions seem better. Consider Francis’ take on global warming, his stance on fracking, etc… All of that provides a broader picture that is useful.

    WHOLE LOTTA stuff there I didn’t say. I know you phrased as “are you saying” so I guess the answer is no.

    How do we know much wasn’t already done in private? Didn’t Obama credit the Pope from working in the background regarding the new relationship?

    ok – what I was suggesting, though, was that what he does in public is arguably more important than what he does in private.  If he really doesn’t like communism, than it doesn’t matter much when the messages he sends (assuming he’s not meeting with all communists in private) are public chastisement of capitalism and an implicit endorsement of the alternatives…  Also, again I think you’re ignoring the bulk of what Francis has said/done in order to set up a series of individual defenses.  As an attorney, you should be the first person to see what I’m saying when I refer to the “burglar’s toolkit” defense.

    • #111
  22. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Tommy De Seno:

    Frank Soto:

    I can respond to this by just re-quoting Ryan. We aren’t relativist here.

    An Obama like equivalence “Iran oppresses women in horrific ways, but the U.S. also has a bad track record with women as evidenced by the gender wage gap” is beneath us on the right.

    You are telling us that sure, Cuba jails opponents of their oppressive regime, but republicans and democrats disagree about policy, so isn’t that the same thing?

    Didn’t Umbra Fractus blacken my eye in comment number 82 with the opposite idea, that it’s the Pope’s job to save souls in each instance?

    Can’t you guys get together and agree to beat me up with a common thought?

    Tommy, there’s more about the analogy that I don’t particularly like.  First, if the pope made an effort to meet with all the sinners he can find, as Jesus dined with sinners, and said “go and sin no more,” I suppose that would be eminently Christ-like of him.  I’m not sure how Christ-like it was to accept a hammer/sickle crucifix or to rant about fracking and polar bears, but we can get back to the point of dining with sinners…  If he recognized that the gathering of homosexual lobbyists at the white house was an overt attempt at a photo-op designed to imply (contrary to church teaching) some sort of endorsement of this group, I’d expect him to make some comment along those lines.  But perhaps a more important point is that when we’re talking about dissidents in communist regimes, what we’re really discussing is politically oppressed groups who are generally fighting their governments on the side of those values the church might want to advance (i.e. freedom, rejection of tyranny).  To the extent that we have any such thing as political dissidents in this country (which we really do not), I hardly think that the gay-lobby counts as being among that group.  If your analogy is to hold, the purpose of his meeting with said “dissidents” must necessarily be analogous.  I don’t think you would suggest that “pushing for gay marriage” and “combatting tyrannical dictatorships” really qualify.

    As to the point made above, yes, it is the pope’s job to work toward saving souls.  I suppose you might say that he ought to treat all people as sinners…  which doesn’t go all that far toward explaining the way his actual behavior/speech seems to break down somewhat coincidentally along overtly-partisan lines.  As I said, you can explain each individual instance away.  The dark shirt because I’m a raider’s fan; the ski mask because it’s cold outside and this is all I could find; the grappling hook because I was trying to get a frisbee out of a tree for my kid earlier today and I haven’t yet been home to put it away.

    • #112
  23. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Ryan we are talking past one another because you keep comparing the two groups and I’m not.

    It appears you are saying his evangelizing (or the level of it) depends on the group, which I understand.

    • #113
  24. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    Kim Davis might qualify as a jailed dissident.

    What a story it would be if he came to her defense…

    • #114
  25. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Tommy De Seno:Kim Davis might qualify as a jailed dissident.

    What a story it would be if he came to her defense…

    Yes, I agree with this.

    • #115
  26. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Tommy De Seno:Ryan we are talking past one another because you keep comparing the two groups and I’m not.

    Forgive me if I’m mistaken, but wasn’t that precisely what you were doing?  I thought your initial comment was, essentially (with sarcasm, perhaps):

    Francis meets with dissidents in cuba and that is bad.  Francis doesn’t meet with dissidents in the US and that is good.

    I will gladly acknowledge if I misread, but if so, what was the point you were making with that comment?

    • #116
  27. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Tommy De Seno:It appears you are saying his evangelizing (or the level of it) depends on the group, which I understand.

    I am saying that the manner in which he evangelizes to various groups – taken as a whole – says a lot more about the man than many Catholics are willing to admit.  I am also saying that I’ve seen a lot of individualized defenses when it comes to examples, and while each is plausible, the whole picture still seems largely undeniable.  I have noticed that whenever I argue with Catholics on this matter (and I’m not lumping them all together; many Catholics agree with what I’m saying), they seem to immediately begin discussing individual instances, which might be defensible on their own.  The aggregate is much more difficult to defend, and that was my point (I apologize for repeating myself so much) with the burglar’s toolkit.

    • #117
  28. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    Casey:

    Concretevol:

    Casey:Have we conservatives really gone this far off the deep end?

    No wonder nobody agrees with us. No wonder we’ve lost everything.

    How are we off the deep end?

    Does every non-event have to be a controversy?

    Sometimes when you don’t give your children cookies it’s because you don’t have any cookies to give.

    Seemed like a kind of major news event rather than a non-event.  I would say more controversial than who Obama is inviting to the White House for the Pope’s visit.  I’m not Catholic so don’t have the vested interest that Peter does but I am extremely anti-communist, a position I’m afraid the current pope may not share.  I will go along with ambivalence on the part of the pope but not endorsement of those communist bastards.

    • #118
  29. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    I think one of the most difficult things for non-Catholics to understand is the universality of the Church. For example it is the Church in Africa that is the most traditional. That’s hard to figure when you think about it. How could Africans become the most vocal defenders of a church that is based in Europe, but when it comes to the Mass, marriage, and family they are very orthodox. The Latin American Church has seen despots both on the Left and the Right come and go. Yet they are lured by promises of Liberation Theology about the mission of a Church that should establish heaven on earth.  The Mexican government literally tried to destroy the Church in the Cristero War between 1926 and 1929, and received contributions from the Ku Klux Klan to help it to do so. Then there is the rise of secularism in Europe and the United States.

    It is a balancing act for any Pope to try and find one message that will make everyone in this dysfunctional world happy. Now I know that Americans are just as varied in their political beliefs as they are in their religious beliefs, but as Americans we should remember that not too long ago there was one Christ, but there were segregated churches, and there are still segregated churches.

    I’m not sure what the Pope will say in the United States but we should at least listen and examine the message and ourselves.

    • #119
  30. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Doug Watt:The Mexican government literally tried to destroy the Church in the Cristero War between 1926 and 1929, and received contributions from the Ku Klux Klan to help it to do so. Then there is the rise of secularism in Europe and the United States.

    … and for anyone who thinks this sort of thing is interesting, Graham Greene wrote the very good, though sometimes uncomfortable to read  The Power and the Glory.

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