Fox News editor Adam Shaw is quite cross with Pope Francis. In fact he's so incensed that he equated Pope Francis' popularity with that of President-elect Barack Obama, and not in a very nice way.
Pope Francis is undergoing a popularity surge comparable to the way Barack Obama was greeted by the world in 2008. And just as President Obama has been a disappointment for America, Pope Francis will prove a disaster for the Catholic Church.
My fellow Catholics should be suspicious when bastions of anti-Catholicism in the left-wing media are in love with him.
Just like President Obama loved apologizing for America, Pope Francis likes to apologize for the Catholic Church, thinking that the Church is at its best when it is passive and not offending anyone’s sensibilities.
In his interviews with those in the left-wing media he seeks to impress, Francis has said that the Church needs to stop being ‘obsessed’ with abortion and gay marriage, and instead of seeking to convert people, “we need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.”
This softly-softly approach of not making a fuss has been tried before, and failed. The Second Vatican Council of the 1960’s aimed to “open the windows” of the Church to the modern world by doing just this.
The result was the Catholic version of New Coke. Across the West where the effects were felt, seminaries and convents emptied, church attendance plummeted, and adherence to Church doctrine diminished.
John Paul II and Benedict XVI worked hard to turn this trend around, but now Pope Francis wants the bad old days to resume.
Shaw is actually calling Pope Francis a Catholic apologist to the left like conservatives called President Obama an American apologist to the Muslim brotherhood. This man is very sick and angry. Where's the outrage from the religious right over all these nasty comments that are erupting from conservatives like Rush Limbaugh, Stuart Varney and many others? Bill O'Reilly has been pretty mute on the topic of pope bashing and he's never stopped trashing liberals if he thought they were being unkind to Catholics. Where's Bill Donohue of the Catholic League? Remember when Donohue's group attacked a Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan as being anti-Catholic which resulted in them having to leave the Edwards campaign? Howard Kurtz was all over that story.
Shaw is saying that the new Pope will destroy the Catholic church and I'd say attacking the a sitting Pope like this has been unheard of since the religious right took over the GOP.
John Cassify of the New Yorker has an interesting read on what Pope Francis said in his papal exhortation and what it means. POPE FRANCIS’S CHALLENGE TO GLOBAL CAPITALISM
Here's some of it.
In asserting the primacy of the underdog, and the need to interpret scripture from the underdog’s perspective, Pope Francis was echoing arguments made by left-leaning Latin American priests during the nineteen-seventies, such as the Peruvian Gustavo Gutierrez, and Leonardo Boff, of Brazil. But the pontiff also goes beyond old-school liberation theology. The poor aren’t the only victims, he argues. The system’s prosperous winners also get dehumanized and debased, albeit in a more subtle way.
To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.
This is incendiary stuff, especially in a country like the United States, where moral assaults on the market are rare in mainstream discourse. Even the tribunes of Occupy Wall Street rarely rose to the rhetorical heights of the new Pope, who goes on:
While the earnings of the minority are growing exponentially, so, too, is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. The imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation…. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules…. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything that stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.
With the Pope bandying about phrases like “a new tyranny,” I am not surprised that Limbaugh and other defenders of the established order have labeled him a Marxist. In its recognition of the universality and power of the market, its self-sustaining ideology, its association with rising inequality, and its dehumanizing aspect, parts of the Pope’s analysis do resemble those of the man his friends called the Moor, and his cohort Friedrich Engels. But the Argentine Pope isn’t just a priest who swallowed bits of “The Communist Manifesto”—the more acute bits. Parts of his argument also hark back to the anti-growth and anti-consumerism movements of the sixties and seventies, which have recently seen a rebirth in many parts of the advanced world, particularly among the young.The core of the Pope’s critique is moral and theological rather than economic, and that is what gives it its power. Referring once again to the idolatry of money, he writes:
Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of Ethics and a rejection of God. Ethics has come to be viewed with a certain scornful derision. It is seen as counterproductive, too human, because it makes money and power relative. It is felt to be a threat, since it threatens the manipulation and debasement of the person. In effect, Ethics leads to a God who calls for a committed response which is outside the categories of the marketplace.
What might that response be? Once again, the latest heir to St. Peter doesn’t hold back:
Money must serve, not rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect, and promote the poor. I exhort you to a generous solidarity and to the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings.