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The mask is off.


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    Obviously media sources can misquote the pope, by accident or otherwise. The first questio to ask here is this: does Pope Francis truly believe that poverty is on the increase? Is he unaware that poverty has been cut by half in the last 30 years? If the article is accurate on that point then it’s unsurprising what follows.

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      Good point. I was focused on Pope Francis’ recommendations, not his claims.

      You are right about his claims on poverty: “The world is rich and yet the poor increase around us…” That claim is not true.

      Also I must admit that the Breitbart story had a reasonable headline. It was not unfair. It captured one of Francis’ main points.

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      I don’t view Breitbart as a reliable source on the Church. First Things, The Catholic Thing, Crisis Magazine, etc. are more reliable.

      So let’s turn to the official Vatican transcript, which unfortunately is not in English. Thanks to Google Translate, we have this.

      Much of Francis’ speech is descriptive. Some is very good: “The greatest structure of sin, or the greatest structure of injustice, is the same industry of war, since it is money and time at the service of division and death. The world loses billions of dollars in armaments and violence every year, amounts that would end poverty and illiteracy if they could be redirected…” Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler could have put it no better.

      But the problem is when Francis ventures from principles to policy. He seems to endorse Western nations forgiving debts incurred by poorer nations (what about Western taxpayers?), he highlights the supposed “imperative to stop man-made climate change,” and he claims that “sin structures today include repeated tax cuts for the richest people.”

      The Catechism of the Catholic Church, as far as I’m aware, does not mandate any type of government. It has survived under democracies, republics, emperors, kings, and even occasionally tyrants. Nor does it specify any type of optimal tax rates.

      Pope Francis wants to move the Church left. He is succeeding. But centers of resistance have already formed. A similar process is playing out in American politics (Trump has been a reprieve, so the centers of resistance are less developed).

      Remember: “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Catholics have work to do.