Throughout history there have been Popes good and bad. We’ve had Popes who personally facilitated the most worst vanities and genocidal tendencies or Princes and dictators, and there have been Popes who more closely hew to the words of peace and mercy spoken by the man they worship as a God. The present Pope may be one of the latter:
TPM — “The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently,” Francis said. “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”
Rather, he said, the Catholic Church must be like a “field hospital after battle,” healing the wounds of its faithful and going out to find those who have been hurt, excluded or have fallen away. “It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars!” Francis said. “You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else.” … “The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules,” he lamented. “The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all.”
The admonition is likely to have sharp reverberations in the United States, where some bishops have already publicly voiced dismay that Francis hasn’t hammered home church teaching on abortion, contraception and homosexuality — areas of the culture wars where U.S. bishops often put themselves on the front lines. U.S. bishops were also behind Benedict’s crackdown on American nuns, who were accused of letting doctrine take a backseat to their social justice work caring for the poor — precisely the priority that Francis is endorsing.
The big problem is Jesus is described as something like a progressive socialist hippie and that doesn’t jive with US prosperity mythology and the whole ball of wax pushed by the usual suspects. It’s nice to see someone high up recognize that and say it. Saying the truth isn’t necessarily a political act, it’s stating facts, so pointing that Jesus as written in the Good Book was way more about with helping the poor and healing the sick than cutting taxes and regulations on the Koch brothers. Quite the contrary, the grotesquely immoral practice of hammering that round hippie savoir into the square selfish right-wing hole fabricated by conservative activist and grifters has been one of the most successful political hoaxes of our time.
The right-wing nut jobs posing as American Bishops might have to adapt to getting less Papal cover for their conservative snake oil factories. The bulk of which is a sharp, teabagger deviation from what’s going on with the working class and in parliaments elsewhere in world. They happen to be demonstrably wrong about what Jesus was all about, and Pope Francis is absolutely goddamn right. This could get interesting.