The Next Pope Should at Least be Catholic

Pope Francis doesn’t like America.  Pope Francis doesn’t like capitalism.  It is unclear whether Pope Francis even likes Catholicism.  Whatever the case may be, he seems to be doing everything he can to dissuade Catholics from remaining in the Church, and to keep prospective Catholics from joining. 

When certain Christian leaders, such as the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, or the Southern Baptist Convention president, J.D. Greear, speak, nobody listens.  Why?  Because they sacrificed Christendom, and the glorious civilization it produced, upon the altar of wokeness a long time ago.  When the pope speaks, people still listen.  But that’s rapidly changing, and for the same reason.

A few of Pope Francis’ more memorable pronouncements are worth noting:

  • After the Uvalde school shooting, he told a Vatican crowd that, “It’s time to say ‘Enough’ to the indiscriminate trade of weapons!” 
  • He blamed capitalism for much of the world’s “pain, death, and destruction,” and referred to it as the “dung of the devil.”  He called for “structural change” and for a “just distribution” of land, lodging, and labor. 
  • He attributed George Floyd’s death to the “sin of racism.” 
  • He sneered that market capitalism and neo-liberalism are “magic theories,” and blamed them not only for the spread of coronavirus, but also for inequality in general. 
  • He blamed the ghastly murders of Europeans by Muslim immigrants, as well as the creation of ISIS, on the world’s alleged worship of the “god of money,” and referred to capitalism as “terrorism against all of humanity.” 
  • He blamed Putin’s invasion of Ukraine to “NATO barking at Russia’s gate” and the “West’s attitude.” 
  • And he responded to criticism from American Catholics by saying, “It’s an honor if the Americans attack me.” 

Pope Francis is also noteworthy for what he doesn’t say.  Take, for instance, when in 2015 he visited Cuba and gallivanted around with Raul Castro, a man whose legacy includes murdering and imprisoning Christians.  Not once did Pope Francis offer any criticism whatsoever of the bloody communist regime, nor utter a single word of solidarity with its victims.  And for the spontaneous protests of the Cuban people in 2021 and 2022, and the resulting brutal government crackdown?  Not a peep. 

Or when Pope Francis visited Malta to address Muslim illegal immigrants and had the cross removed from the stage in order to avoid offending the audience. 

And as I write, he still hasn’t directly criticized Putin for invading Ukraine. 

Pope Francis has a rigid, inflexible worldview, born of the putrid liberation theology upon which he was weaned in Peronist Argentina.  This worldview holds that capitalism is evil, and the United States is its most sinful devotee.  His knowledge of basic economics and rudimentary history is beyond embarrassing, as is his inability to see critics and dissidents as anything but crude strawmen in a Marxist-Manichean cosmic drama.  For a man who likes to quip that “facts are more important than ideas,” he is remarkably illogical in his approach to humanity and its inherent problems. 

The Man of Facts finger wags the United States for its gun violence, whilst ignoring the far higher rates of gun violence in many countries in his beloved Latin America.

The Man of Facts can’t grasp that free market capitalism is not a “magic theory,” but is based on proven economic laws, and is responsible for reducing worldwide poverty by over eighty percent in the last fifty years.  The vaccine against COVID wasn’t developed by Cuba’s fabled health care system, or by the Chicoms who leaked the virus, but by corporate America.

The Man of Facts casually assumes that George Floyd’s death was caused by racism, despite there being zero evidence whatsoever that race had anything to do with it. 

The Man of Facts blames poverty and the “god of money” for Islamic terrorism, but cannot reference any patterns of terrorism from other impoverished groups. 

The Man of Facts is remarkably unversed in American jurisprudence, under which the “indiscriminate” trade of weapons is actually quite discriminate and regulated, much more so than, let’s say, entering the country, adhering to terms of parole, or voting. 

The Man of Facts blames NATO expansion (by democratic nations who peacefully request it) for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, when it’s obvious that Putin’s drive to reestablish the Soviet empire has been played out by his invasions of Crimea (2014), Abkhazia and South Ossetia (2008), and Chechnya (2000). 

But the time will come for the College of Cardinals to pick his successor.  They can admit Francis was an unintentional fluke, rebuild from his wreckage, and reassert Christianity into the world as an active, assertive, and positive force.  Or they can mistake him for an ideological trailblazer, whose destruction they intend to continue by sacrificing the most valuable tenets of Scripture and tradition for whatever is trending on Twitter.  But they cannot then feign befuddlement when Catholic churches keep emptying at rates comparable to those of other Christian denominations, whose leaders worship Quinnipiac polls rather than God. 

We live in a world where Christians are regularly persecuted, facing not only murder and imprisonment in remote dictatorships but increasingly here at home with open attacks on both religious liberties and the nuclear family.   But listening to Pope Francis and other Christian leaders, one would think that legions of SUV-driving Klansmen are changing the weather and casting sickness upon the peasantry better than the Salem witches ever could. 

To the Pakistani and Chaldean Christians whose worshippers are slaughtered en masse, do Francis’ priorities seem logical or asinine?  To the Chinese Christians praying in secret, lest they end up in labor camps with their Uighur Muslim brethren, is Francis’ kowtowing to their blood-drenched government a cause for attraction or repulsion?  To the African Christians, whose countries’ transitions to capitalism are opening up unimaginable universes of technology, health care, opportunity, standards of living, and freedom, does Francis’ description of capitalism as “terrorism against all of humanity” sound like wisdom or idiocy?

And to the American Christians, who struggle to pay bills, who watch inflation cripple their budgets, who paid their own college debts and of those who chose not to, whose neighborhoods crumble under fentanyl, whose cities burn, whose soldiers are betrayed, whose children are “educated” by unionized sexual predators, whose borders are intentionally allowed to be overrun, whose police are defunded and criminals released unpunished, whose parents are surveilled as “terrorists”, and whose churches are regularly vandalized, desecrated, and burned, does Francis’ snide taunt that “It’s an honor if the Americans attack me” come across as Christian love or spiteful hate?

If the cardinals do not course correct, there will not be a schism.  There will be no Thirty Years War.  The next Pope won’t have to barricade himself in the Castel Sant’Angelo from the frothing mob.  Rather, the congregants will simply walk away.  The pews will empty.  The culture will dissolve.  The charity will cease.  The missionary movement will collapse.  The history will be forgotten.  Catholics looking to other denominations will find few left willing to prioritize the Risen over the Woke.  And so they’ll drift off into a vague spiritualism, their children will know Christianity even less, and their grandchildren not at all.  Church leaders who sincerely strive to alleviate the suffering of the downtrodden should know that the amazing work done by Christian volunteers will not be continued by the “secular humanists.” 

The first Pope, the apostle Peter, was willingly nailed to a cross in defense of his faith.  Pope Francis won’t even display a cross for fear of offending people.  The words of his god are found not in the Bible, but in 19th century revolutionary tracts and on the pretentious yard signs of gated communities.  The faithful masses are screaming for real leadership rooted in courage, humility, and genuine concern for the suffering of Christians, not in condescending elitism.  If the cardinals don’t deliver, Catholics will walk. 

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