Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Local News

December 18, 2013

Liberals listening to Pope ... selectively

Pope Francis, at least for 15 minutes or so, has become a darling of the left.

It likely won’t last. If he has the temerity to reassert the church’s position on “social issues,” he will once again become the religious extremist, bigoted leader of an outdated institution deserving only scorn and ridicule.

But, for the moment, he is way cool. The pope’s recent encyclical is seen as an attack on capitalism, especially as it is practiced in the United States. He’s blaming America first! How awesome is that?

And, indeed, the pope does decry what he calls “the idolatry of money.” He declares the alleged benefits of “trickle-down” economics “have never been confirmed by the facts,” and that our “throw-away culture” throws away the poor.

This had the Los Angeles Times salivating, figuring it would likely “cause Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul D. Ryan some distress.”

No word from the paper on any possible distress for Democratic millionaires in Congress whose charitable giving is slim to none, and for whom “compassion” consists of spending other people’s money.

But it is strange that the left suddenly thinks the pope’s words should have any influence on government policy in the United States.

If he or any Catholic leader affirms the church’s position on abortion, gay marriage or female clergy, they are immediately told to stop imposing their morality on the rest of us or trying to violate the separation of church and state.

If the pope is allowed no standing in those areas, why is he welcome in others? Could it be because those on the left perceive him to be attacking their enemy — capitalism? How convenient.

Actually, if they bother to read the whole document, their ardor for the pontiff may cool. The alleged attack on capitalism takes all of about four of 84 pages. The majority of it is about evangelism — proclaiming the Gospel to nonbelievers in an effort to convert them to Catholicism.

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