PopeWatch: Liberal Catholic

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VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Over the years PopeWatch has heard time and again from many Catholics that there are no liberal Catholics nor conservative Catholics but merely Catholics.  PopeWatch has never believed this since the evidence to the contrary is so abundant.  PopeWatch would suggest that there are liberal and conservative Catholics and that Pope Francis is an example of a liberal Catholic.  In what way is Pope Francis a liberal Catholic (using “liberal” in the current popular American sense of being on the political left)?

1.  He has a distrust, if not hatred, of markets.

2.  His preferred solution to most problems in this Vale of Tears is to call upon Caesar to find a solution.

3.  He has a great fondness for some sort of world government.

4.  He believes in some of the shibboleths popular on the Left, including that arms merchants start wars, and that rich countries are responsible for poor countries being poor.

5.  He seeks out allies from the loony Left.

6.  He favors stringent regulation and control of economies by governments.

7.  He favors environmental “reform” even if, as he expects, people become materially poorer as a result.

8.  He has a distrust of democracy as democratic states lack long term commitment to the environmental measures that he favors.

9.  His outlook on life is top down with leaders bringing enlightenment to common humanity.

10.The Left, who hated his predecessors, love Pope Francis, who they view as an ally in most of their fights.

Some of course would argue with a straight face that none of this is political and that all of this is merely Catholicism.  To the contrary, the Pope is attempting to write his political views into Catholic teaching.  Most Popes do this to a certain extent, but Pope Francis is doing more of it than any Pope prior to him, with the possible exception of Pio Nono.  Critics of Pope Francis are sometimes condemned as Cafeteria Catholics.  The simple fact of course is that Catholics look to the Pope for spiritual nourishment and in the case of Pope Francis they often receive instead a political program which the Pope is clearly attempting to ram down their throats.

PopeWatch will be taking a Fourth of July hiatus until July 6, unless something major occurs, like a Martian applying for baptism or common sense breaking out in Rome.

 

More to explorer

Keeping a Promise

As faithful readers of this blog know, I was a very reluctant, and late, supporter of Donald Trump in 2016.  I grudgingly

28 Comments

  1. At 7PM last night, 200 mere Catholics met in our parish Church to pray the Rosary for an infant who is direly ill.

    11. He believes we have this one life/world and it is his and the socialist, huge state’s duty to make it better.

    12. He believes the over-large, socialist state needs to reward sin.

    13. He is more concerned about the things of this World than of the rewards of eternal life which Christ purchased for him by His life death and Resurrection. For him the Eternal is not important.

    14. He believes that the corporal works presented in (only) Matthew’s Last Judgment story are accomplished in voting extremist abortion promoters who promise higher taxes for rich people whom they hate and judge as evil.

    15. He counts as virtues hatred and violence they are aimed at rich people who they hate. This is primary for so-called liberation theology.

  2. . The Left of course has gradations. Vox Nova website and Catholic Moral Theology website ( social justice left only…not sexual left) loved his predecessors because they maimed the death penalty. Those Popes had to affirm it because of Romans 13:4 so they affirmed it in ccc 2267 and maimed it there by saying that deterrence was complete when you deterred the one murderer out of twenty that you actually caught. The normal world sees deterrence as being about the murderers of the future…deterring them by killing the one you caught. The new Catholic definition of deterrence is deterring the one you caught only. Ludicrous. Pope Francis out did them by saying life sentence is an execution.
    The three men were feminized late in life ( not always for the predecessors) as to mercy in this area in opposition to Scripture…. ” the harshness of a man is better than a woman’s indulgence” Sirach 42:14. Plato describes how a male becomes feminized in Book Three of the Republic…too much culture and too little sports…which describes many in the priesthood and profs in Theology departments. The two safest areas of the world as to murder are East Asia no.1 and Europe no.2. East Asia because it has the death penalty and strong families…Europe because it has few poor people though immigration will change that. The worst areas are Latin America and Africa…1 and 2. Virtually no death penalties in the worst half of Latin America….and many poor people. I’ve had ten encounters with thugs…once escaping four black males in an ATT telephone truck. I’ve never been jumped by a tax attorney or a dentist. It’s always the poor….he kind Europe and Vermont don’t have.
    For my pet issue, all three recent Popes are liberal and Cafeteria about the Scriptures….with a capital C.

  3. 16. He uses the language of the left. Scripture and other authority, sometimes, from my reading, is used to support ideology.
    17. He uses the dialectical techniques of the left: straw man, crisis/conflict/compromise, isolation of opposing viewpoints, and disdain for facts especially those at odds with ideology.
    18. I sense a duplicity when looking at his behind the scene machine tins regarding the synod and the disclosures regarding the characters involved with his encyclical.
    19. Like a leftist, he uses a class paradigm ignoring history, tradition and the rich teachings of his predessorrs regarding property, free will, authentic social justice…teachers such as Leo XIII, JOII, Pius X, XI, XIII. This to me is very sad.
    20. This will seem odd but in my view, catechisis seems unimportant and it may be that he is not well informed about teachings contained in the catechism. Eg immigration.
    21. He maintains that material poverty is a prerequisite to Church membership. Christ did nit say to the Centurion seeking to save his servant “empty your pockets first”. Our poverty of spirit is critical and we will be known as Christians by how we serve the Body of Christ including the poor, not by our agreement with the Pope’s malformed reliance on political ideology.

  4. I know that the “there are no liberal or conservative Catholics” have GOT to be talking about something, but in practice it seems to be (as you observe) an excuse to elevate their own views to religious authority levels.

  5. Bingo. Generally I have found it said among Catholics who adopt a pox on both your houses attitude towards politics and assume that the views of the Pope of the day determine the position of Catholics on all political questions, even if those views contradict longstanding Church teaching.

  6. As an orthodox conservative Catholic myself, I find in the Holy Father a style of verbal communication that is confusing and liberal, a style of written communication that is clear and more orthodox than most would have us believe, and on prudential judgment I find him to be liberal and lacking. That results in 2 strikes out of 3.

    However the most crucial and important of these is his writing since from these flow Church teaching.

    Addressing this morning’s post, it would be much more engaging to provide:

    1. Actual examples of the Pope’s words in each of these instances, otherwise it is merely hearsay.

    2. In doing so it should also be pointed out from what source his words flow since an encyclical will carry more weight than an offhand comment to a reporter.

  7. “You are either with me, or against Me.”
    That simple clear talk leaves little room for deceitful Godless political agenda’s of the diabolical left in my book.
    God will judge, but we must discern……

  8. . The trouble with the completely non critical (of the present Pope) Catholic writers ( e.g. Jimmy Akin, Mark Shea) is that they can’t cause growth in the Church or in people in those areas where they submit inordinately. It also means in other times they would have assented to Pope decisions that current Popes and they themselves now abhor….burning heretics ( Innocent IV in 1253 and Leo X in 1520 inter alia)….and enslaving and despoiling resistant natives in the newly discovered lands ( Nicholas V in Romanus Pontifex 1454..mid 4th large paragraph).

  9. Looking for the silver lining, I’m getting lots of chances to explain the difference between binding and non-binding teachings, and I’m running into some awesome blogs! Like this guy doing the “neither left nor right” thing quite well at the Catholic Geeks group-blog. (Biggest problem? No Treebeard quote. *grin* )

  10. The Pope strikes me as a variant of the modal clerical type in our time. Catholic, oldline protestant, or evangelical, you see these types. It’s just that their idiom and aesthetic varies. You talk to them and discover they’re pretty shifty and for all their years of schooling never display any trace of erudition. They cannot repair any problems in their congregations and do not seem to want to. For all that they confront people’s problems every day, none seem to have any of what Thomas Sowell calls ‘the tragic vision’ or ‘the constrained vision’. I think it will be many generations before these shallow and silly clerics are displaced. A while back, Fr. Paul Mankowski offered that the early 20th century clergy in the occidental world may have been the most committed and diligent since the end of the early Church. It’s amazing how rapidly the whole edifice collapsed.

  11. using “liberal” in the current popular American sense of being on the political left

    That is an erroneous way of viewing the Catholic Faith of others i.e. through the lens of American Politics.
    *
    heard time and again from many Catholics that there are no liberal Catholics nor conservative Catholics but merely Catholics.

    And you are right, this is also erroneous. So what is the accurate method of analysis?
    *
    Either one is a faithful Catholic or not.

    Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all, keep the Catholic faith. For unless a person keeps this faith whole and entire, he will undoubtedly be lost for ever [and that includes the Pope] – the beginning of the Athanasian Creed.

  12. Your conclusion, Art, reminds me of a recent quote from Robert Royal at theCatholic Thing.org:

    “You have to hand it to the Irish bishops, priests, and religious. It’s not easy to de-Christianize a whole people. Yet they managed, in about a generation, to help detach an almost entirely Catholic population from its 1500-year-old religious and social roots.”

    Apparently it’s more common than we thought to witness such a wholesale collapse of Catholic institutions.

  13. “1. Actual examples of the Pope’s words in each of these instances, otherwise it is merely hearsay.”

    “1. He has a distrust, if not hatred, of markets.”

    56. In the meantime, economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to speculation and the pursuit of financial gain, which fail to take the context into account, let alone the effects on human dignity and the natural environment. Here we see how environmental deterioration and human and ethical degradation are closely linked. Many people will deny doing anything wrong because distractions constantly dull our consciousness of just how limited and finite our world really is. As a result, “whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenceless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule”.[33]

    “2. His preferred solution to most problems in this Vale of Tears is to call upon Caesar to find a solution.”

    177. Given the real potential for a misuse of human abilities, individual states can no longer ignore their responsibility for planning, coordination, oversight and enforcement within their respective borders. How can a society plan and protect its future amid constantly developing technological innovations? One authoritative source of oversight and coordination is the law, which lays down rules for admissible conduct in the light of the common good. The limits which a healthy, mature and sovereign society must impose are those related to foresight and security, regulatory norms, timely enforcement, the elimination of corruption, effective responses to undesired side-effects of production processes, and appropriate intervention where potential or uncertain risks are involved. There is a growing jurisprudence dealing with the reduction of pollution by business activities. But political and institutional frameworks do not exist simply to avoid bad practice, but also to promote best practice, to stimulate creativity in seeking new solutions and to encourage individual or group initiatives.

    “3. He has a great fondness for some sort of world government.”

    174. Let us also mention the system of governance of the oceans. International and regional conventions do exist, but fragmentation and the lack of strict mechanisms of regulation, control and penalization end up undermining these efforts. The growing problem of marine waste and the protection of the open seas represent particular challenges. What is needed, in effect, is an agreement on systems of governance for the whole range of so-called “global commons”.

    175. The same mindset which stands in the way of making radical decisions to reverse the trend of global warming also stands in the way of achieving the goal of eliminating poverty. A more responsible overall approach is needed to deal with both problems: the reduction of pollution and the development of poorer countries and regions. The twenty-first century, while maintaining systems of governance inherited from the past, is witnessing a weakening of the power of nation states, chiefly because the economic and financial sectors, being transnational, tends to prevail over the political. Given this situation, it is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions. As Benedict XVI has affirmed in continuity with the social teaching of the Church: “To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago”.[129] Diplomacy also takes on new importance in the work of developing international strategies which can anticipate serious problems affecting us all.

    “4. He believes in some of the shibboleths popular on the Left, including that arms merchants start wars, and that rich countries are responsible for poor countries being poor.”
    http://the-american-catholic.com/2015/02/18/popewatch-merchants-of-death/

    51. Inequity affects not only individuals but entire countries; it compels us to consider an ethics of international relations. A true “ecological debt” exists, particularly between the global north and south, connected to commercial imbalances with effects on the environment, and the disproportionate use of natural resources by certain countries over long periods of time. The export of raw materials to satisfy markets in the industrialized north has caused harm locally, as for example in mercury pollution in gold mining or sulphur dioxide pollution in copper mining. There is a pressing need to calculate the use of environmental space throughout the world for depositing gas residues which have been accumulating for two centuries and have created a situation which currently affects all the countries of the world. The warming caused by huge consumption on the part of some rich countries has repercussions on the poorest areas of the world, especially Africa, where a rise in temperature, together with drought, has proved devastating for farming. There is also the damage caused by the export of solid waste and toxic liquids to developing countries, and by the pollution produced by companies which operate in less developed countries in ways they could never do at home, in the countries in which they raise their capital: “We note that often the businesses which operate this way are multinationals. They do here what they would never do in developed countries or the so-called first world. Generally, after ceasing their activity and withdrawing, they leave behind great human and environmental liabilities such as unemployment, abandoned towns, the depletion of natural reserves, deforestation, the impoverishment of agriculture and local stock breeding, open pits, riven hills, polluted rivers and a handful of social works which are no longer sustainable”.[30]

  14. Thanks for those quotes, Don. At least that gets them out on the table for discussion, rather than discussing the Pope’s words in the abstract.

  15. “5. He seeks out allies from the loony Left.”

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2015/06/29/popewatch-priorities/

    “6. He favors stringent regulation and control of economies by governments.”

    129.******************
    Civil authorities have the right and duty to adopt clear and firm measures in support of small producers and differentiated production. To ensure economic freedom from which all can effectively benefit, restraints occasionally have to be imposed on those possessing greater resources and financial power. To claim economic freedom while real conditions bar many people from actual access to it, and while possibilities for employment continue to shrink, is to practise a doublespeak which brings politics into disrepute. Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving our world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the areas in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good.

    183. Environmental impact assessment should not come after the drawing up of a business proposition or the proposal of a particular policy, plan or programme. It should be part of the process from the beginning, and be carried out in a way which is interdisciplinary, transparent and free of all economic or political pressure. It should be linked to a study of working conditions and possible effects on people’s physical and mental health, on the local economy and on public safety. Economic returns can thus be forecast more realistically, taking into account potential scenarios and the eventual need for further investment to correct possible undesired effects. A consensus should always be reached between the different stakeholders, who can offer a variety of approaches, solutions and alternatives. The local population should have a special place at the table; they are concerned about their own future and that of their children, and can consider goals transcending immediate economic interest. We need to stop thinking in terms of “interventions” to save the environment in favour of policies developed and debated by all interested parties. The participation of the latter also entails being fully informed about such projects and their different risks and possibilities; this includes not just preliminary decisions but also various follow-up activities and continued monitoring. Honesty and truth are needed in scientific and political discussions; these should not be limited to the issue of whether or not a particular project is permitted by law.

    184. In the face of possible risks to the environment which may affect the common good now and in the future, decisions must be made “based on a comparison of the risks and benefits foreseen for the various possible alternatives”.[131] This is especially the case when a project may lead to a greater use of natural resources, higher levels of emission or discharge, an increase of refuse, or significant changes to the landscape, the habitats of protected species or public spaces. Some projects, if insufficiently studied, can profoundly affect the quality of life of an area due to very different factors such as unforeseen noise pollution, the shrinking of visual horizons, the loss of cultural values, or the effects of nuclear energy use. The culture of consumerism, which prioritizes short-term gain and private interest, can make it easy to rubber-stamp authorizations or to conceal information.

    185. In any discussion about a proposed venture, a number of questions need to be asked in order to discern whether or not it will contribute to genuine integral development. What will it accomplish? Why? Where? When? How? For whom? What are the risks? What are the costs? Who will pay those costs and how? In this discernment, some questions must have higher priority. For example, we know that water is a scarce and indispensable resource and a fundamental right which conditions the exercise of other human rights. This indisputable fact overrides any other assessment of environmental impact on a region.

    189. Politics must not be subject to the economy, nor should the economy be subject to the dictates of an efficiency-driven paradigm of technocracy. Today, in view of the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life. Saving banks at any cost, making the public pay the price, foregoing a firm commitment to reviewing and reforming the entire system, only reaffirms the absolute power of a financial system, a power which has no future and will only give rise to new crises after a slow, costly and only apparent recovery. The financial crisis of 2007-08 provided an opportunity to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and new ways of regulating speculative financial practices and virtual wealth. But the response to the crisis did not include rethinking the outdated criteria which continue to rule the world. Production is not always rational, and is usually tied to economic variables which assign to products a value that does not necessarily correspond to their real worth. This frequently leads to an overproduction of some commodities, with unnecessary impact on the environment and with negative results on regional economies.[133] The financial bubble also tends to be a productive bubble. The problem of the real economy is not confronted with vigour, yet it is the real economy which makes diversification and improvement in production possible, helps companies to function well, and enables small and medium businesses to develop and create employment.

    “7. He favors environmental “reform” even if, as he expects, people become materially poorer as a result.”

    193. In any event, if in some cases sustainable development were to involve new forms of growth, then in other cases, given the insatiable and irresponsible growth produced over many decades, we need also to think of containing growth by setting some reasonable limits and even retracing our steps before it is too late. We know how unsustainable is the behaviour of those who constantly consume and destroy, while others are not yet able to live in a way worthy of their human dignity. That is why the time has come to accept decreased growth in some parts of the world, in order to provide resources for other places to experience healthy growth. Benedict XVI has said that “technologically advanced societies must be prepared to encourage more sober lifestyles, while reducing their energy consumption and improving its efficiency”.[135]

    “8. He has a distrust of democracy as democratic states lack long term commitment to the environmental measures that he favors.”

    178. A politics concerned with immediate results, supported by consumerist sectors of the population, is driven to produce short-term growth. In response to electoral interests, governments are reluctant to upset the public with measures which could affect the level of consumption or create risks for foreign investment. The myopia of power politics delays the inclusion of a far-sighted environmental agenda within the overall agenda of governments. Thus we forget that “time is greater than space”,[130] that we are always more effective when we generate processes rather than holding on to positions of power. True statecraft is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good. Political powers do not find it easy to assume this duty in the work of nation-building.
    181. Here, continuity is essential, because policies related to climate change and environmental protection cannot be altered with every change of government. Results take time and demand immediate outlays which may not produce tangible effects within any one government’s term. That is why, in the absence of pressure from the public and from civic institutions, political authorities will always be reluctant to intervene, all the more when urgent needs must be met. To take up these responsibilities and the costs they entail, politicians will inevitably clash with the mindset of short-term gain and results which dominates present-day economics and politics. But if they are courageous, they will attest to their God-given dignity and leave behind a testimony of selfless responsibility. A healthy politics is sorely needed, capable of reforming and coordinating institutions, promoting best practices and overcoming undue pressure and bureaucratic inertia. It should be added, though, that even the best mechanisms can break down when there are no worthy goals and values, or a genuine and profound humanism to serve as the basis of a noble and generous society.

    9. His outlook on life is top down with leaders bringing enlightenment to common humanity.
    175. The same mindset which stands in the way of making radical decisions to reverse the trend of global warming also stands in the way of achieving the goal of eliminating poverty. A more responsible overall approach is needed to deal with both problems: the reduction of pollution and the development of poorer countries and regions. The twenty-first century, while maintaining systems of governance inherited from the past, is witnessing a weakening of the power of nation states, chiefly because the economic and financial sectors, being transnational, tends to prevail over the political. Given this situation, it is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions.

    “10.The Left, who hated his predecessors, love Pope Francis, who they view as an ally in most of their fights.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/06/16/3670139/encyclical-listicle-aka-the-encyclistical/

  16. “That is an erroneous way of viewing the Catholic Faith of others i.e. through the lens of American Politics.”

    The usage is American, not the politics. It is my contention that what often people claim to be Catholicism is actually their political preferences wearing a thin disguise.

  17. Excellent work, Pope Watch. A break is deserved.

    In 1900, Argentina had the world’s seventh largest economy. Poland did not exist as an independent nation.

    The territory that became the Republic of Poland was wrecked in WW1. Argentina sat it out.

    Poland was invaded,devastated, lost almost six million of its citizens and STILL fought the Germans. Argentina provided a place to escape for Nazis, among them Mengele and Eichmann.

    In the 1950s Argentina elected the Perons, the greatest demagogues of Latin America. They wrecked the Argentine economy in the name of the poor.

    Poland has had a market economy only since 1989. Poland lost territory, citizens and its freedom. Yet today, Poland has the world’s 18th largest economy and has a higher per capita income than Argentina.

    Poland does not have gay marriage or abortion. Argentina? Guess!

    The Roman Pontiff is a captive of his upbringing and his environment (Yankees – bad). His encyclical is a dead letter to me. His political views are nonsense to me. I should pray more for him because we are stuck with him until God decides otherwise.

  18. PF (oops I mean that not as a pejorative so henceforth Penguins Fan) — interesting quick history and comparison. Thx.

  19. Cthemfly25 —

    very good :
    17. He uses the dialectical techniques of the left: straw man, crisis/conflict/compromise, isolation of opposing viewpoints, and disdain for facts especially those at odds with ideology.

    all the other points too Donald , T. Shaw and C them fly

  20. It is very easy to find scathing attacks on capitalism from the Right. The French Catholic Counter-Revolutionaries, Joseph de Maistre, Bonald and Chateaubriand are full of it.
    A fine example in English is from the staunch High Tory, Dr Johnson:
    “In the Islands, as in most other places, the inhabitants are of different rank, and one does not encroach here upon another. Where there is no commerce nor manufacture, he that is born poor can scarcely become rich; and if none are able to buy estates, he that is born to land cannot annihilate his family by selling it. This was once the state of these countries. Perhaps there is no example, till within a century and half, of any family whose estate was alienated otherwise than by violence or forfeiture. Since money has been brought amongst them, they have found, like others, the art of spending more than they receive; and I saw with grief the chief of a very ancient clan, whose Island was condemned by law to be sold for the satisfaction of his creditors.
    The name of highest dignity is Laird, of which there are in the extensive Isle of Sky only three, Macdonald, Macleod, and Mackinnon. The Laird is the original owner of the land, whose natural power must be very great, where no man lives but by agriculture; and where the produce of the land is not conveyed through the labyrinths of traffick, but passes directly from the hand that gathers it to the mouth that eats it. The Laird has all those in his power that live upon his farms. Kings can, for the most part, only exalt or degrade. The Laird at pleasure can feed or starve, can give bread, or withold it. This inherent power was yet strengthened by the kindness of consanguinity, and the reverence of patriarchal authority. The Laird was the father of the Clan, and his tenants commonly bore his name. And to these principles of original command was added, for many ages, an exclusive right of legal jurisdiction.
    This multifarious, and extensive obligation operated with force scarcely credible. Every duty, moral or political, was absorbed in affection and adherence to the Chief. Not many years have passed since the clans knew no law but the Laird’s will. He told them to whom they should be friends or enemies, what King they should obey, and what religion they should profess.”
    As Lord Acton has pointed out, no better protection against tyrannical government, whether of kings or mobs, has ever existed.

  21. Is Pope Francis Catholic? As appropriate.

    Is Pope Francis Socialist? Unquestionably.

    Is Pope Francis political? Yes

    Please feel free to add to the list.

  22. Great history of Argentina v. Poland PF

    “The Roman Pontiff is a captive of his upbringing and his environment (Yankees – bad).”
    Very true

    “His encyclical is a dead letter to me.”
    Well, not to me, but I’ll have to be discerning about it.

    “His political views are nonsense to me.”
    Agreed, mostly. He is on the money with totalitarianism, but not with its camouflaged lite versions like Peronism, and he doesn’t see the conflict there. Worse are his economic views.

    “I should pray more for him because we are stuck with him until God decides otherwise.”
    Agreed. Or until he decides otherwise. Benedict may have set a precedent here, although I can’t imagine Francis as quiet in retirement as Benedict has been. He’s much more volatile and impulsive.

  23. Art Deco wrote “For all that they [the modal clerical type in our time] confront people’s problems every day, none seem to have any of what Thomas Sowell calls ‘the tragic vision’ or ‘the constrained vision’. I think it will be many generations before these shallow and silly clerics are displaced”

    They cannot be displaced as long as our non-tragic civilization exists. No civilization has ever been as materially successful as ours, and these clerics despite their cries against ‘materialism’ love it as much as the rest of us. Only a reversion to 19th century conditions and longevity will displace them.

  24. Cthemfly25 – no problem.

    For quite a long time, the Church hierarchy has not known exactly what to make of changing political and economic trends. The Church has been present in Latin America since Columbus landed in Cuba. However, the Church has not had the influence in Latin America that many outsiders think it has or had. When the independence movement began in Spanish Latin America, the Church hierarchy usually sided with the Spanish crown. The caudillos hare never been friends of the Church.

    The Church hierarchy usually has little understanding of a free market economy. Capitalism is a term coined by Karl Marx, who was an idiot who should have been forgotten before he died. In a free market economy there are always some losers, but in a well functioning economy opportunities emerge to enable people to escalate their standards of living. When the Church hierarchy is stuck in an agrarian/mercantile way of thinking, problems ensue.

    Pollution is worst in poorest countries. They usually lack the political backbone to enforce laws or just don’t care. Poorest countries tend to be the most corrupt.

    Argentina is a country that considers ownership of land with prestige and the highest rank in class. In the USA, one can become a millionaire and rent an apartment. This concept doesn’t exist in Argentina.

    We in the US and Canada share this hemisphere with Latin America but there is a massive gulf between us in so many ways, including in the Church. Outside of Quebec and some pockets in the USA, the North American Church is an immigrant Church. North America has never been run by caudillos, though Obumbler comes close and so did FDR. We usually produced enough or more than enough priests and nuns until about 40 years ago.

    The Latin American Church often found itself as a target of the caudillos. It opposed independence at the start. It often relied upon Spanish and Portugese priests. The Left in Latin America often attacked the Church as an enemy due to its property holdings, most of which were granted by the Spanish crown.

    Note the History Channel miniseries The Men who Built America. Latin America has not produced a Carnegie (I know he was born in Scotland) or a Westinghouse or an Edison or Rockefeller or a Ford or attracted a Tesla. The Church has not been as influential as it has been in Poland where it was a guiding light during the dark days of partition, occupation and Communist repression.

    Latin America is a mess and I say that charitably. Violence, poverty and corruption are the norms in most Latin American countries, along with blaming Uncle Sam by their educated elite.

    We see this in our current Roman Pontiff.

  25. When looking at the rôle of the church in Latin America, we should remember the model society created in the Jesuit Reductions, most famously in Paraguay, but also in the Argentine, Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay. Most people will be familiar with Montesquieu’s praise of them in his L’Esprit des Lois, as did Rousseau applauded a society from which money was banished. Voltaire has an amusing depiction of them in Candide.

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