Pope Francis is getting a conservative thrashing by the golden idols of the right wing. How they're getting away with it, along with cutting food stamps and unemployment insurance benefits, is beyond me. Heck, one polls says Americans want Republicans in charge of the Senate now.
Check out the bizarre headline pictured below. It's not conservative American politics that's radical, it the Pope. For a religion based on an infallible leader, it's amazing to see the rank and file suddenly claiming to know more than the Pope. From the Mt. Pleasant Patch:
His focus on the poor and criticism of liberal capitalism. In November, Francis denounced “the idolatry of money.” …he described trickle-down economics as “a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”The right wing is just insane. Here's more proof that if Jesus did come back, Republicans would hate him:
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh described Francis’ writings as “just pure Marxism.”
Take(en) together — an aversion to culture war fights, adoration by the mainstream media, and skepticism of concentrated wealth — and you have a recipe for increasing friction between Francis and parts of the American conservative movement.
As for the rest of us? I grew up in a devout Catholic household where statements made by any reigning pope were regarded as coming straight from God. So I understand why many American Catholics, especially conservative ones, feel the shift in Francis’ focus like a shock to the system. Bridget Kurt, an ardent Catholic in Georgia, feels like Francis is letting here down. “Even when it was discouraging working in pro-life, you always felt like Mother Teresa was on your side and the popes were encouraging you," Kurt told The New York Times. "Now I feel kind of thrown under the bus.”
After being elected pope in March of this year, he has shaken up the now-ascendant "Catholic = Conservative" mindset in American politics by doing three things:
De-emphasizing traditional culture war touchstones. In a September interview in the Catholic magazine America, Francis said, “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage, and the use of contraceptive methods.”
That’s a stark contrast to the guidance from conservative Catholic leaders like Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who in 2004 said that voting for John Kerry would be a sin requiring confession.
His flair for symbolism: Shortly after his election, Francis made headlines when he washed the feet of a dozen inmates — including the feet of Muslim and women prisoners. As then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he reportedly washed and kissed the feet of AIDS patients and drug addicts.
In December, The Huffington Post cited “a knowledgeable source” confirming rumors that Francis heads out at night beyond Vatican walls to give alms to the poor. These acts have stayed on cable news headlines for days.