Pope continues his leftward course with recognition of 'Palestinian State'

Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, is proving true to that order’s leftist inclinations. Yesterday, his Vatican crossed a line:

The Vatican announced Wednesday that it would soon sign a treaty that includes recognition of the “state of Palestine,” lending significant symbolic weight to an intensifying Palestinian push for international support for sovereignty that bypasses the paralyzed negotiations with Israel.

Palestinian leaders celebrated the Holy See’s endorsement as particularly important, given the international stature of Pope Francis. For Israelis, it was an emotional blow, since Francis has deep relationships with Jews dating back decades, and Christians are critical backers of their enterprise.

“The Vatican is not just a state. The Vatican represents hundreds of millions of Christians worldwide, including Palestinians, and has vast moral significance,” said Husam Zomlot, a senior Palestinian foreign-affairs official.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it was “disappointed” by the Vatican’s decision, and that the recognition would “not advance the peace process.” That echoed similar statements after a wave of European Parliamentary resolutions on Palestinian statehood last fall, but some Israeli analysts said the Vatican’s step hurt more.

The Vatican’s sinister (Latin for “left”) initiatives have been coming one after another. A week ago:

Pope Francis is set to canonize two Arab nuns who lived in Israel during the Ottoman empire as Catholic saints, making them the first "Palestinian saints."

According to a report on Wednesday by the Lebanese LBCI News, the Marie Alphonsine Ghattas of Jerusalem and Mariam Bawardy of the Galilee will be canonized at the Vatican on May 17.

The two lived during the 19th century CE, when Israel was under Ottoman Turkish rule and was considered part of greater Syria by the empire. Despite claims to the contrary, historical records definitively show that a state of "Palestine" never existed in the region, the name being applied later in the British Mandate when the Ottoman rule was overthrown in World War One.

In fact the entire national identity of “Palestine” is a recent fiction as applied to the Arabs who settled in the historic Jewish homeland. The Roman Catholic Church’s buy-in to this myth is disappointing, to say the least. But it is also consistent with the Pope’s other leftist initiatives:

On his way back from attending the Victory Day Parade in Moscow’s Red Square this weekend, Mr. [Raul] Castro stopped by the Vatican to give his regards to Pope Francis, thanking the leader of the globe’s 1.2 billion Catholics for his help in brokering a thaw in relations with the United States.

But afterward, the revolutionary leader, president of Cuba since his famous older brother, Fidel, stepped down in 2008, also said that Francis’s speeches and efforts to stand with the marginalized might inspire him to return to the Catholic church – which for most of his brother’s leadership had been actively suppressed by the then-officially atheistic Communist regime.

“When the pope comes to Cuba in September, I promise to go to all his masses and I will be happy to do so,” Castro said in Spanish during a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Sunday. “I told the prime minister if the pope continues to talk as he does, sooner or later I will start praying again and return to the Catholic Church, and I am not kidding,” he said.

While it is true that reclaiming sinners to the church is part of the Pope’s mission, it is also true that the Castro regime is an uncomfortable ally, a brutal repressive dictatorship. But Cuba is lionized by Liberation Theology, the mostly Latin-American movement that allegedly has KGB roots:

As Cuba's Raul Castro declares he may return to the Catholic Church, a top Soviet bloc defector has warned that the liberation theology now making a comeback there was actually a KGB creation. Can the truth get out?

The declaration the iron-fisted Cuban autocrat made after his Sunday meeting with Pope Francis was played up in the press as another example of the latter's sunny way with even the most difficult people. But Castro's promise was qualified: He'll only return "if the pope continues in this way."

It was an unmistakable reference to the Catholic Church's apparent re-welcoming of liberation theology, the unholy theology that during the 1960s and 1970s married the politics of materialism, collectivism, envy and class warfare of Marxism with Christianity itself.

Up until now, it had been declared "heresy" by Pope Benedict and its advocacy discouraged by the church.

The Pope is clearly warming toward this former heresy:

…the Vatican ushered in from the cold Gustavo Gutierrez, the so-called father of the controversial Liberation Theology movement, to address the press about ministering to the poor. 

Gutierrez has never had an easy place in Rome, and Tuesday’s press conference was as much a debut as anything, notwithstanding the fact that the Dominican priest from Peru is a spry 85. Liberation Theology bloomed in the 1950s and ‘60s as a Latin American movement that focused not only on ministering to the poor, but on reinterpreting Catholic scripture through their eyes and experiences, all while fighting the causes of poverty—in some cases condoning the use of arms to do so.   The movement was centered on “base communities” throughout Latin America that operated independently of the church, yet were very Catholic.

The Roman Catholic Church has come a long way from Pope John Paul II’s work to bring down communism to Pope Francis’s embrace of Liberation Theology. They say the Lord works in mysterious ways. I can only nod my head in sad agreement.

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