In which the Pope is absolutely godamn right

Pope Francis

Poe Francis (Latin: Franciscus) born Jorge Mario Bergoglio; (born 17 December 1936) is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, a position also holding the roles of Sovereign of Vatican City and the Bishop of Rome. Click image for bio at the Wiki

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.


  1. ianeymeaney says

    If Nazi Pope had said that the earth was round, I would have doubted it unless I saw for myself. Pope Frankie Goes To Hollywood seems… human and compassionate? What is this world coming to?

  2. johnb says

    Damn, this guy might be alright. I would imagine that three or four of the College of Cardinals are already trying to figure out how to slip some poison into Frank’s wine.

    Granted, I am not a Xristian, but I never understood why the bishops are sooo concerned about abortion, and not about the death penalty which is equally a right to life issue. I doubt that Francis is going to be able to change much since the forces of reaction are so strong, sorta like what is going on in the states today.

  3. Al Dente says

    After Benny Ratzi anyone may seem moderate. However the letter ordering bishops not to tell the civil authorities about child-raping clergy hasn’t been rescinded. Nor has the “investigation” of American nuns for not being homophobic enough and wasting their time aiding the destitute and sick been called off. The Catholic bishops are still trying to get contraception defunded by health insurance.

    The Who explained the situation in “Won’t Get Fooled Again”:

    Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss

  4. says

    I agree with Al. At best, he’s less of a ass than his Nazi predecessor. That isn’t really saying much. Priests are still raping children, but the guy who covers it up is a little warmer as he pretends that his church is moral, and his smile is less creepy as he orders the trials of anyone trying to prevent the rapes. That I ought to be happy this man doesn’t think I deserve hell would be insignificant if it wasn’t so extraordinarily insulting. He’s telling me that I’m just behind his child raping priests in line for the Pearly Gates. Well fuck him!

  5. grumpyoldfart says

    Check out his June 29 encyclical (Lumen Fidei) where he claims that the light of reason cannot lead to truth, and without Christian faith,

    “everything becomes confused; it is impossible to tell good from evil, or the road to our destination from other roads which take us in endless circles, going nowhere.” (section 3)

    He also says that without the proper (Pope Francis style) of faith, people “fail to realize that goodness comes from God” and “their lives become futile and their works barren.” (section 19)

    So the nice old man still thinks we’re all a bunch of cunts.

  6. timberwoof says

    I’m going to tape plastic sheeting on the windows and wear a rain poncho for a while. I expect the weather to be bloody with a chance of eyeballs as Catholic and conservative heads explode all over the country. I’ll be watching for Wingnut-on-Wingnut Crime threads about this issue; it should be entertaining.

  7. left0ver1under says

    Did the catholic cardinals choose their version of C. Everett Koop? Reagan appointed Koop as Surgeon General in the 1980s because he was a fundamentalist christian. The far right assumed that Koop would use his position to push a pro-religious, anti-woman and anti-gay position on the US populace. Instead, Koop realized he needed to do his job and act in the interests of public health, even if it conflicted with his personal beliefs. The same could be said of Judge John E. Jones in the Dover “intelligent design” case, a rightwing judge who followed the law instead of his personal politics.

    This pope came to prominence during (and chose to benefit from) the fascist regime in Argentina. But he was still in the country in the 20+ years that followed. Maybe he woke up and realized that the right way of doing things is having and concern for others and acting in their interests instead of his own. Or maybe he just realized that Argentina’s fascists faced consequences when change overtook them, and the catholic church will face the same if it doesn’t.

  8. Konradius says

    I quite disagree about this. News outlets have been making the quote that the pope condemned obsessively harping about abortion and gay rights, which are the doctrines they’ve gone on most about.
    But we’re not at all mad they are obsessing about that.
    We are mad they are WRONG.
    Imagine a church obsessively campaigning FOR abortion rights and FOR gay rights. We would be cheering them on, obsession or not.
    And this pope could simply go in to infallible mode, make the statement these issues should be reversed and then… Well be disposed or whatever, but still, we’re wrong to give this oppressor any type of praise in the meantime.
    Of course if the high up catholics actually believed their shit they’d have to abide by such a popal decree. But yeah right…

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