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As a faithful, devout Catholic, I believe the pope to be infallible when he is pronouncing on matters of faith and doctrine. However, as I have told my own children many times, that does not mean that the pope is right about anything else. As a historian, I teach them of the history of the papacy, with all its lechers and weak-minded boobs, as well as its holy saints and wise and powerful leaders. In most of my lifetime, the pope has been someone whose wisdom I valued and whose reasoned statements on matters of international importance I could at least respect, even if I disagreed.
But, Pope Francis, as much as I pray for him as the leader of my church, has terrible political instincts. His self-important idea that if he doesn’t speak up, the Israelis will suddenly start oppressing religious worship, rather than being the only country in the Middle East that guarantees freedom of worship, makes me sick. The reality is that the threat of violence is not coming from the Israelis, and that only areas of Jerusalem that are under the control of the Israelis, not the Palestinians, are safe for people of all faiths.
May the Lord bless Pope Francis and bring him the wisdom to know when he should speak and when he should shut his mouth. Today I rejoice in the announcement that the US will stop acting as though reality is not real and accept Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Lord be praised! This time next year, or perhaps more like three or four years, in Jerusalem!