Maureen Mullarkey is back! You might recall her blog piece on the Pope in First Things that caused Mark Shea a conniption fit, and led the editor of First Things to disavow what she wrote. Go here to read all about it. Now, at The Federalist, she is making her case that Pope Francis is a Leftist:
Let us be honest. Conservatives are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. While deferential observers are measuring their tones, Francis drives ahead with a demagogic program which makes the state the guardian and enforcer all values. To suppress challenge to a pope’s political biases or erratic behavior is no favor to the Church. It is little more than a failure of nerve that will earn no reward in the press. Silence is a form of collusion.
Earlier this month, Peter Berger reported in The American Interest that Leonardo Boff is an advisor to the pope on his forthcoming encyclical on climate change. Boff, a former Franciscan priest, is one of the major proponents of Liberation Theology, rejected as radical by both previous pontiffs. In March, 2013, at the time of Francis’ election, Boff told the press that Jorge Bergoglio was more liberal than people supposed. His conservatism as cardinal was due only to pressure from the Vatican. Rorate Caeli recorded Boff’s prediction: “He is now the pope and he can do whatever he wants. Many will be surprised with what Francis will do.”
Go here to read the rest. That Francis is a man whose heart is on the Left politically I doubt that most honest people could deny with a straight face. His off the cuff remarks all aim in that direction, and when he talks or writes about political and economic issues it is almost always with a perspective that comes from the Left. Is that all he is? Of course not. His Catholicism makes him persona non grata on the Left in regard to such issues as abortion and gay marriage. However, I think that Pope Francis has come to the conclusion that differences with the Left on these issues do not preclude alliances with the Left on issues where his views coincide with theirs.
All popes have political beliefs and an unfortunate number of popes have attempted to enlist the sanctity of the Church in support of causes where prudence would have dictated silence as the best policy for the Church. Silence is obviously an option of last resort for the current pontiff.