Pope Francis: Killing Us Softly

For six days straight during his visit to the United States last year, Pope Francis was, to borrow a phrase from Norman Gimbel, “killing us softly with his words.” The boulevards of New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. were lined with adoring throngs as the Pope benignly smiled and blessed these hundreds of thousands of immigrant Americans -- especially the newest illegal arrivals from the other side of our southern border.

But apparently nobody noticed the pontiff’s thinly disguised partisanship, except a few grumpy pundits like Wall Street Journal columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady who commented in her May 17, 2015 article about the Pope’s visit to Cuba before coming to the United States: “In December, we learned that Pope Francis brokered the Obama-Castro thaw, which while unlikely to spur improvements in human rights is already generating new interest in investing with the military government.”

Of course, O’Grady wasn’t the only Wall Street Journal observer to see convergence between the global political agendas of Pope Francis and President Obama. Only four days before, Daniel Henninger noted that, in 2013, Pope Francis complained that “Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.” Henninger also cited Raul Castro’s comment that, “if the Pope continues this way, I will go back to praying and go back to the church.” 

Writing in a September 22 posting on Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield dug even deeper into the hypocrisy of this papal pandering: “Pope Francis spoke of Obama’s deal with Castro as a ‘process of normalizing relations between two peoples following years of estrangement.’ But he knows quite well that it’s nothing of the kind. The Cuban people are not estranged from Cuban refugees in America by a lack of diplomatic relations, but by the brutal suppression of political and religious freedom by the Castro regime.” 

Faux alliances with communist dictators like the Castro brothers is not the only part of Pope Francis’ soft touch. He has also aligned himself with Obama on climate change and immigration "reform". Since the United States has long been a leading producer and consumer of fossil fuels as well as the most prosperous economy in the world, these two social justice proponents clearly see us as the evil empire.

Few United States citizens may realize that Pope Francis grew up in Argentina, a country saturated with socialism since the days of Juan and Eva Peron. Although Pope Francis was not raised as a hard-core communist, both his family and many of his most influential mentors were deeply committed to the authoritarian principles of Peronist socialism. 

This line of thinking aligns perfectly with their shared view that capitalism is synonymous with big carbon footprints. It is no small irony that Obama’s past cozy relationship with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, as well as his most recent deal with the mullahs of Iran, has been motivated not by any desire to curtail fossil fuel production but to “redistribute” that capability to so-called third-world nations. Hence, while Obama has stubbornly blocked building the Keystone pipeline in the United States, he has encouraged building the same kind of pipeline in Kenya.

While it may be unfair to ascribe such sinister motives to Pope Francis, he obviously agrees in principle with Obama’s immigration reform plans for the United States. How else can anyone explain his planned visit to Mexico next month?

According to a recent Breitbart report, “The Pope plans to visit Mexico from February 12-17 and will travel to the border town of Ciudad Juárez on the final day of his trip… Mass is scheduled to take place at El Punto, a large field near Benito Juarez Stadium and just a stone’s throw from the border.” The report also notes that “The Pope’s visit to Ciudad Juarez will also take place just as voters are heading to the polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire, where immigration policy is a major issue.”

Dare we go so far as to say Pope Francis also blesses the president’s plan to allow 10,000 unvettable immigrant refugees from Syria later this year -- with, according to some reliable reports, hundreds of thousands more to come?

The New York Times certainly seemed to think so. Anyway, that’s what columnist Patrick Healey implied in his September 26, 2015 commentary: “The prospect of taking in 10,000 Syrians next year, as the Obama administration recently proposed, may be the sort of humanitarian goal that Francis was urging, but it does not reflect the inward-looking mood of many Americans.”

When Pope Francis addressed Congress last September, his words were chosen very carefully: “…if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us…. Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion…We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind.”

The Pope was not so soft-spoken with the Germans he addressed in Munich when he visited there shortly before coming to the United States. He basically told them they had to welcome all refuges from Syria with open arms. According to a September 6 report on Aljazeera.com, “He called on every Catholic parish, convent, monastery and sanctuary in Europe to shelter a family, and asked bishops throughout Europe to urge their dioceses to do the same. His comments came after about 8,000 refugees arrived in Munich over the past two days, with a further 8,000 expected to arrive on Sunday.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel tried hard to make nice with the thousands of mostly young and male Syrian refuges pouring into her country last year. But this effort backfired badly when, on New Year’s Eve in the cities of Cologne and Hamburg. CBS reported on January 11 that not only were hundreds of German women sexually assaulted by these rude newcomers but they themselves quickly became the targets of German citizens’ rage. So much for Pope Francis’ “Golden Rule” strategy.

Some of us will recall that, when Pope John Paul II left the sacred precincts of the Vatican, he first went to visit his native country, Poland. Pope Francis, however, first goes to Cuba and, yesterday, welcomed Iran leader Rouhani for an audience and exchange of gifts, The January 27 print edition of the Wall Street Journal boldly displayed a photo of this artful deal on its front-page, although text of the report was on page A-8. There is no evidence of either the photo or the text of this story in the online editions. To get the story online, one has to go to the New York Times

Maybe Clinton, Sanders and Trump are irrelevant after all. How about a Bloomberg-deBlasio ticket? Now that’s what I’d call a real “New York values” administration.

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