Thursday September 24th, Pope Francis will address a joint session of Congress. And politicians just couldn’t be happier. Well some of them anyway. The Right used to love the Popes with their somewhat social conservative ways. But now the Left is embracing the Pope as he seemingly makes left leaning statements.
Like in his now famous address in Bolivia when her decried unfettered capitalism. People like presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders fell all over themselves pointing to his quotes like:
“Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money. Let us say no to an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules, rather than service. That economy kills. That economy excludes.”
Its odd how at the same time back in Bernie’s home state of New York there is a vast amount of church closings which includes the likes of Sacred Heart Church in Mount Vernon. According to the New York Times:
“Sacred Heart Church in Mount Vernon is another parish on the list of those to be closed. Its soup kitchen serves 72,000 meals a year, parishioners said, and its pantry supplies food to more than 700 households each month.
Mount Vernon, just north of the Bronx, is one of the poorest areas in Westchester County, with a large population of older people. It is losing three parishes. Mayor Ernest D. Davis said that the city relied on Sacred Heart, and that no other organization in the city served the neediest as extensively.”
Most of the closings and merging of parishes include at least one church that is running in the red, merging with one that runs in the black. So they can then turn a profit. I mean maintain themselves. Sorry about my confusion there. When it’s done in the business world it’s about profits. The church certainly isn’t in this for profits, they have a moral charge to save souls or something like that. Except for their bank which they own that gets part of it’s funds in the trickle up theory of economy, as a portion of every dollar dropped in the basket ends up in Rome. But that’s all about maintaining and yes perhaps even growing its billions of dollars of wealth. Somehow that helps save souls.
Not quite the socialist Bernie had in mind. But Francis talks a good game.
Otherwise would this trip even be happening. Especially with the scathing report from not one, but two UN investigations into the global epidemic of childhood sexual abuse. That should bring pause to inviting the Pope to speak before a joint session of Congress. You would think.
If we look at it through another lens, the Pope is the leader of a very small country that borders Rome, Italy. The Holy See is its own nation. He was elected for life, so by definition he is now a dictator of a theocracy. In his country women have very little rights. They certainly can’t vote nor do they have any equal opportunities for social or political advancement. Like an economy that excludes. And, as the UN has pointed out, they allowed and covered up for the sexual abuse of children throughout the globe. If the Holy See were any other nation or any other religion we would not be extending invitations to its leader to speak at congress, we would be discussing sanctions and possibly military action against this country. Instead our government embraces it.
The governments in Australia and Ireland recognized these crimes against humanity and held hearings to get to the bottom of it, changed laws and stripped the church of its power.
You know, to protect their kids and all that.
Because the abuse is still happening. It’s in the papers everyday. It’s not hard to find. Just follow the Abuse Tracker on the Bishop’s Accountability web site.
These stories aren’t on the front pages. The front page has stories about Francis seeming to be accepting of the gay community. Which he isn’t. No policies have changed and the Catholic Church and its money remains one of the biggest opponents to gay marriage. Or stories about how kind he is and will now forgive women who have abortions. I wondered forgiven for what? I understand when they routinely forgive pedophiles because they actually did something really really bad. To an actual child. Or stories about how he embraces the poor, as he closes their churches. Or stories about how we need green energy, which we do, and its now a moral decision to do so. Meaning it is more important to save the earth than to simply focus on this as an economic issue. Yet for the bank within the country of this church it is an economic issue as they have invested heavily in solar and wind energies that they are already selling back to the electric companies in Italy. When they can turn a profit it becomes a moral imperative.
Which is probably why Francis is so popular with our politicians. He is clearly a master at the game. And the direction this country is going, he seems to be the perfect role model for them.