Pope Francis arrived on his first visit to the United States on Tuesday, bringing to Washington a message that its power and wealth should be used to serve humanity, and not the other way around. [Thomson/Reuters/Newsmax.com 9/22/15]
What gives rise to wealth? Productivity. The willingness of millions of consumers to pay for goods and services created by entrepreneurs, executives, middle managers and employees.
By definition, a wealthy company got that way because it has already “given to humanity.”
Why should producers feel guilty for the product of all that they did? Whatever we pay for goods and services, we can never possibly repay those who give us things that make life comfortable, lengthy and worthwhile.
Socialists like Pope Francis take it for granted that producers will always produce. They morally condemn the motives and the financial success of the very people who construct their airplanes, build their homes, make their clothes, run their computer programs, manufacture their weapons for bodyguards to protect them, and keep their limos running.
Prominent Cuban-American priest, Father Alberto Cutié, questions Pope Francis’ apparently warm attitude towards the Castro dictatorship during his visit to Cuba this week, asking in a Miami Herald column, “Why do you so strongly condemn capitalism … but we never see an equally strong condemnation of atheist communism?” [breitbart.com 9/22/15]
Because, if we’re honest about it, capitalism is not consistent with Catholic virtues. Catholic virtues consist of selflessness, anti-materialism, love of the supernatural and others above comfort. At root, Catholicism (like any religion) upholds the supremacy of an eternal life with God over and above activity on earth. Why should Catholicism support capitalism? Capitalism is the social system for life on earth, not the hereafter. It makes the hereafter a heck of a lot less relevant.
I know that Catholics have their defensive replies. “On earth, we should be productive, and do it for God.” Or something of that nature. But if that’s the case, then why should we keep any of what we produce? Why not give it up, if it’s selfish and therefore wrong to be wealthy, prosperous and happy?
The Pope’s blatant Marxism is consistent at least.
Pope Francis travels to America — still the land of plenty — to foster guilt. He’s here to do what our President and many of our elected leaders already do on a daily basis: Shake his finger at us and exclaim, “How dare you be so comfortable, accomplished and successful! You selfish pigs! Renounce your comforts and give them up for the poor, for your neighbor, (your Pope, your President) for society, for God — anybody or anything but yourselves.”
He’s more explicit about it — but that’s what he’s after.
Before leaving Havana, Cuba, the Pope said:
“If you are without sin, throw the first stone, but only on that condition,” the Pope told the priests. “And think, you could be in that position and remember that in that moment, you hold a treasure in your hands,” the ministerial power to forgive sins in God’s name.
Pope Francis said the cardinal “used an uncomfortable word: poverty. The spirit of the world does not know that word, doesn’t seek it, hides it.”
Poverty, he said, can be a person’s greatest wealth, but the search for wealth can destroy a person’s life.
Quoting the Jesuit founder, St Ignatius of Loyola, the Pope said he wasn’t giving his order publicity, but found wisdom in St Ignatius’s teaching that poverty “is the wall and the mother” of consecrated life. It stimulates trust in God and blocks out worldliness.
“Love poverty the way you love your mother,” he told them. [http://www.catholicherald.co.uk 9/21/15]
Love poverty like a mother? An abusive mother, maybe. A mother who leaves you to starve and die, and sentences you to a life of rags and hunger. That’s what socialism does — the socialism Pope Francis so admires in Cuba, and whose underlying approach to ethics — selfless self-sacrifice — he so upholds.
Obama and other progressive leftists adore this attitude. How many of them embrace poverty like a mother? How many of them are willing to follow the Pope’s command that they do so?
How willing is the Pope himself?
The fact that people who advocate a particular point-of-view while demonstrating no intention whatsoever of following it reveals not just their own hypocrisy, but the humiliating and devastating evasions implied by their ideas.
By condemning wealth, the Pope condemns the wealth creators and producers who make it possible. He looks only at their motives — self-interest — and condemns them on that basis.
He’s essentially saying that it’s better to produce nothing, and live in poverty, than it is to engage in one minute of self-interested activity. Better that everyone be poor and starving — but at least equal — instead of any income disparities, even if everyone’s standard of living improves. No wonder the Pope loves poverty!
The Pope is supposed to be the epitome of morality and goodness. But his message reinforces and upholds all that is painful, miserable and unhappy about human history to date. The Pope’s stale tirades offer nothing new, and play right into Obama’s compulsion to keep Americans feeling guilt-ridden and apologetic. America’s two centuries of egoistic, successful productivity are the magnificent exception to celebrate, not moralistically condemn. The Pope’s guilt trip could not have come at a worse time.
It’s not poverty we should embrace like a mother. That’s sick. It’s productivity, comfort and life on earth that we should embrace.
Pope Francis’ guilt trip is no reason for cheer. His message is the exact opposite of what life requires and what makes it the worthwhile experience it should be.
I wish Pope Francis would go home.
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