Yours truly has been avoiding writing this post for days. See, the pope is in the hemisphere, not to far from the United States, he doesn’t like the idea of walls, actual or metaphorical, and he got into a war of words with a straight shooter who doesn’t seem to appreciate the finer points of speaking in nuance.
At this point, most Americans would say, Sephie, what on earth are you talking about? Well…for the past two days we’ve seen one headline after another that says, POPE SAYS DONALD TRUMP NOT A CHRISTIAN. Given the mainstream media’s track record with this particular pope, this cradle Catholic had her doubts. So, thanks to RKBA Democrat over at Free Republic, the actual quote sounds a lot more like Francis than a blanket condemnation of a man he doesn’t know:
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.” Asked specifically about Trump, Pope Francis said, “I say only that “This man is not Christian if he has said things like that,” Francis said. “We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.”
Without being too much of a smart aleck, and suggesting we build a troll bridge over the Rio Grande rather than the wall on the bank, read that statement and think more about the “building walls” and “building bridges” concept. His comment may not, in fact, be about a physical wall, even if Americans take it that way. The wall in question, as we think of it, is a matter of national security as there are so many issues surrounding our southern border. Even the migration issue has so many moving pieces and parts, that one has to really pay attention to understand that the poor, abused, and enslaved people Francis champions are not Americans’ main concern. Really, we’re more interested at keeping out the terrorists POSING as migrants at this point.
Please, understand when it comes to papal statements OUTSIDE of the designation of ex cathedra, or “from the chair” of St. Peter, NONE are binding, and, really, are many times ignored. This statement will be as well. Francis’ comments to the bishops and politicians of Mexico over the weekend, that were far more stinging, and tear directly at the way of life in Mexico, will probably also go by the wayside.
“Experience teaches us that each time we seek the path of privilege or benefits for a few to the detriment of the good of all, sooner or later the life of society becomes a fertile soil for corruption, the drug trade, the exclusion of different cultures, violence and also human trafficking, kidnapping and death,” the pope said in a speech to Pena Nieto, the government and foreign diplomats.
He said Mexico’s leaders have a “particular duty” to move past corruption and violence and work for the collective good.
And to the bishops he said:
In a subsequent hard-hitting speech to his own bishops, Francis challenged church leaders known for their deference to Mexico’s wealthy and powerful to courageously denounce the “insidious threat” posed by the drug trade and not hide behind their own privilege and careers.
He told them to be true pastors, close to their people, and to develop a coherent plan to help Mexicans “finally escape the raging waters that drown so many, either victims of the drug trade or those who stand before God with their hands drenched in blood, though with pockets filled with sordid money and their consciences deadened.”
These two statements…where were the screaming viral headlines for this? And how could any thinking person, let alone a Christian, disagree. At the government level, Mexico is amazingly corrupt, and has been for decades. The government there does NOTHING about the drug trade, or the violence, and when we don’t want that spilling over the border, we’re the bad guys. That’s what the headlines say, and that’s what we’re going to believe whether it is true or not.
Psychologically, we Americans are trained to believe what the headlines say. That doesn’t mean that what they say is the truth. Unfortunately, just about everybody falls for it every time, and undoing the damage of the untruth rarely ever happens.
People, the pope is just doing his job, reminding the faithful of their duties. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but it is supposed to be.