The real Pope Francis vs the MSM pope

The MSM and conservative media are full of people talking about the pope’s supposed condemnation of Donald Trump.

Few of the articles actually quote what the pope said.  Instead, they rely on the MSM’s gross distortion of the pope’s response, a mistake that even Rush Limbaugh has made in the past.

While Trump would be a horrible president, the current kerfuffle is a two-for-one shot by the MSM to attack both Trump and Pope Francis.  To pull this off the MSM significantly distorted what both men said and they lied to the pope to boot.

Here’s the full text of the question and the pope’s response:

Phil Pullella, Reuters: Today, you spoke very eloquently about the problems of immigration. On the other side of the border, there is a very tough electoral battle. One of the candidates for the White House, Republican Donald Trump, in an interview recently said that you are a political man and he even said that you are a pawn, an instrument of the Mexican government for migration politics. Trump said that if he’s elected, he wants to build 2,500 kilometers of wall along the border. He wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, separating families, etcetera. I would like to ask you, what do you think of these accusations against you and if a North American Catholic can vote for a person like this?

Pope Francis: Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as 'animal politicus.' At least I am a human person. As to whether I am a pawn, well, maybe, I don't know. I'll leave that up to your judgment and that of the people. And then, a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.

The first thing to note is that the Reuters reporter presented a grossly biased view of Trump’s position.  While Trump has talked about getting rid of illegals he has also talked about letting some of them back in.

It’s also important to remember that families will only be separated if the parents who illegally entered the U.S. refuse to bring their children back to their homes with them.  No one is talking about forcing children who are supposedly citizens because they happened to be born to invaders in the U.S. to stay in the U.S. when their parents are deported.

Second, the pope did not condemn the building of walls.  He said only that if the only path being pursued were to keep people out that would not be Christian.

Who could disagree with that?  Who wants to keep the true Syrian refugees, the Christians, out of America?  Who wants to end all legal immigration?  Who wants to prevent the foreign wives of Americans from entering the country?  Not Trump, and not any other candidate.

It’s taken a while, but most Americans now agree that refusing refuge for Jews fleeing Nazi Germany was an un-Christian thing to do.  All the pope said was that any policy that would keep everyone out of America would be un-Christian.

Next note that the pope clearly indicated that he was answering a hypothetical question because he, the pope, was doubtful that Trump actually said what the reporter said Trump said:

We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.

Finally, it’s important to note that the pope did not say that even if Trump weren’t a good Christian, Catholics couldn’t vote for him.  While that’s different from the pope saying that it’s fine to vote for Trump, it means that even if the reporter’s portrayal of Trump’s position was correct, which it wasn’t, the pope wasn’t saying that Catholics couldn’t vote for him.

On the other hand, Pope Francis has clearly and unambiguously condemned politicians who work to keep abortion legal.  In a letter to the Argentinian bishops, the pope wrote:

[People] cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia, and other grave crimes against life and family are encouraged. This responsibility weighs particularly over legislators, heads of governments, and health professionals.

These are the guidelines we need for this time in history[.]

There is no worse punishment for a Catholic than to be cut off from Communion.  The Pope clearly is not comparing Trump’s stand on immigration to issues like abortion and euthanasia.

The reality is that because Pope Francis calls for mercy the MSM realize that low information voters will easily believe any distortion of what the Pope says so long as that distortion supports liberal causes.

As a result, the MSM has misrepresented what the pope has really said on many occasions; here, here, and here.

Some conservatives have made that same error because of the pope’s position on issues that are not theological, such as global warming.  Yet the truth is that the pope is always consistent with traditional Catholic theology.  His encyclical on the environment is very good in terms of theology; it’s only the areas where the pope has no special authority, such as the science of climate change, where there are problems.

It’s the media who distort what he says that’s the real problem.

For example, how many times have you seen this line from the pope’s encyclical on the environment?

Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties?

That’s right: the pope said you can’t be Green and pro-abortion.  Yet that fact has been as well concealed as the fact that Ted Cruz might be our first Hispanic president.

Similarly, did you ever hear how the pope condemned welfare in the same document?

Helping the poor financially must always be a provisional solution in the face of pressing needs.  The broader objective should always be to allow them a dignified life through work.

Finally, did you know that when the pope said, “Who am I to judge them,” he was talking about gays who were sexually chaste and following Church teaching?

By hiding inconvenient sayings of the pope and distorting other comments, the MSM has built up a fake Pope Francis, who appears to be “Obama’s pope” and hence the “MSM’s pope.”  The reality is that the pope is far from a fan of much of Obama and the MSM’s agenda.

We need to raise people’s awareness that anything the MSM says the pope said has to be taken with a very large block of salt.

Trust no story about the pope until you see the original text and even then make sure you understand the full context.  And remind your friends that the MSM’s pope is not the real pope.

You can read more of Tom’s rants at his blog, Conversations about the obvious, and feel free to follow him on Twitter.