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.