The Pope Is Making News Today

I have a lot of respect for Pope Francis, but he should probably not opine on American politics without taking more care to understand the situation. When Donald Trump can make you look like you haven't really thought through your position, you're having a bad day.

Of more interest may be his remarks on an exception to the Church's ordinary prohibition of birth control, which draws a bright line between birth control and abortion. This is the sort of thing he's better placed to talk about. I suspect there's a danger, if that's the right word, that most American Catholics would be only too happy to take that distinction and run with it. Almost no Americans of any stripe are opposed to birth control on moral grounds. If the Church intends to maintain that prohibition as a usual thing, exceptions will need to be very carefully drawn.


douglas said...

Unfortunately, 'careful' does not seem to be this pope's watchword. Maybe after he gets quoted out of context enough, he'll start understanding just how careful he really should be. The media is running with this but he explicitly stated he did not really know the Donald's positions that well and under those circumstances would give him the benefit of the doubt. Still, the rest of his statement was too brief and overarching on a fairly complex subject, leaving it ripe for abuse. It's nice that he's humble, but he needs to lead- like a parent- as well.

E Hines said...

I have a lot of respect for Pope Francis, but he should probably not opine on American politics without taking more care to understand the situation.

He didn't opine on American politics; he explicitly refused to do so. Below is the full exchange; the press has been carefully spiking the question and stripping the Pope's answer of context by only printing carefully selected parts. The Los Angeles Times and Fox News' Special Report are the only sources I've found with the integrity to provide the whole exchange. Emphasis added because even where those words are included in the selective excerpts, they're ignored in the pseudo-analysis of them.

Q: Today you spoke a lot and eloquently about the problem of immigrants. On the other side of the border there is an electoral campaign that is rather hard. One of the candidates for the White House, Donald Trump, in a recent interview said that you are a political man, and indeed perhaps a pawn of the Mexican Government when it comes to the policy of immigration. He said that if he were elected president he would build a 2,500-km wall along the border. He wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants and, in that way separating families and so on. I would therefore like to ask, first of all, what you think of those charges against you, and if an American Catholic could vote for a person like this?

A: Thank God he said I am a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as an 'animal politicus' [a political animal]. So at least I am a human person. As to whether I am a pawn, well, maybe, I don't know. I'll leave that up to your judgement and that of the people. And then, a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he says things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.

It's interesting to note that at the outset the pressman tried to set the Pope up with a loaded question whose center was an outright lie. Trump is on record as not wanting to separate families and so on for all that he's also on record as wanting to deport 11 million illegal aliens. In answer, the Pope heavily caveated his remarks about wall building--exclusively wall building--and plainly expressed his doubts of whether Trump actually had said these things. His remarks about the degree of Christianity of a man who would say such things also are plainly predicated on whether the comments actually exist. He explicitly limited himself to the moral question and refused to involve himself in politics.

There are two who should take more care to understand the situation: Trump in his response to the press' dishonest reporting of the initial situation, and the press and others who misrepresent the remarks or repeat the distortions as though they were true.

Eric Hines

Grim said...

I appreciate charity towards the Pope, although it doesn't relieve him of the hypocrisy of living in a country surrounded by literal 50-foot walls -- as well as some of the most stringent immigration laws in the world. A somewhat more nuanced answer might have been appropriate, one that recognized the importance of defending a physical space if a community of a certain kind is to flourish in it.

The Church has always built walls -- the whole idea of cloistering is to nourish a community of a certain specific kind, devoted to a certain specific purpose, without the distractions that are caused by the intrusion of the things beyond the walls. Rome built walls before the Church, too.

E Hines said...

And Athens before Rome.

The Pope was asked a specific and dishonest question, and he gave a specific and honest answer. He has no obligation to go far afield from the question.

The catechism (Catechism?) already recognizes the sanctity of borders--and by implication, walls as one means of maintaining borders--and the obligations of those who come in from the outside to respect the laws of the entered-into nation; the Pope has no obligation to recite the catechism in answer to every reporter's question.

Such a reminder might have been useful for an honest question; it's entirely appropriate to hold this dishonest reporter to the knowledge a priori.

Eric Hines

Unknown said...

So much the better for the bottom line/traffic, if they can coyly create ever more outrageous round robins of accusations and counter accusations by baiting and deceiving the public figures with fabricated rumours and then reporting the reaction to the initiator, who was misreported in the first place. It is not about reporting the news but manipulating and generating it.
Ankle biting, butt sniffing, scolding and chiding are all part of the human condition. The self serving provocateurs of the 24/7 media put an end to “real journalism” if it ever existed. Now it’s all about the titillation and gotchas. To be fair the public demands it, like the neon lights of Vegas, sparkles… It is a self perpetuating and self amplifying cycle as the practitioners have to continuously ramp up and assert ever more melodramatic and incendiary claims to stand out from the pack.

Ymar Sakar said...

Gotta love the Communist pope, and the Stasi Leftist infiltrator background for Merkel is also an interesting part of the rumor cycle.

Ymar Sakar said...

Roman Catholicism lost their spark of divinity since at least the Albigensia purges, holy war, and atrocity.

They have never regained it since, not even when the Reformation hit them.

MikeD said...

My solution on the whole immigration issue is to publically call out Mexico and say, "since you believe our immigration laws are racist and unfair, then we shall simply adopt your immigration laws as they currently stand." Because if you know Mexican immigration laws, they make ours look like open borders Germany.

Grim said...

Roman Catholicism lost their spark of divinity since at least the Albigensia purges, holy war, and atrocity.

Ah, suddenly it all becomes clear. You're a Cathar.

Ymar Sakar said...

Closer to Deism than Christianity, Grim. But given the ancient setup back then, that may be close.

The current day Roman Catholics and perhaps even parts of the Orthodox church, are very close to liberation theology, which includes Latin liberation theology and also Rev Wright black liberation theology.

Regardless of what the servants of the church claim now a days, what they are is clear to see, even for those who refuse to believe in the Leftist alliance. No matter how many people are good, it cannot cover up the evils of their organization. No matter how many good Germans there were, it did not excuse Hitler nor his cadre of secret cultists.

Ymar Sakar said...

For those that don't know what Grim is referring to.

The Cathars were a branch off of Middle East Christianity, the Root Branch, long before the Reformation split the Catholics into Protestants and what not.

They were similar to the Fraticeli in terms of the belief in poverty, but disagreed on the ability of any person to become close to the holy spirit, including women as priests or educators of children. The Cathars were for spiritual equality, irregardless of physical disability or disadvantage. The Fraticeli had a more patriarchal system, like the Catholic Pope's hierarchy, more centralized. There were many other branches of Christianity, started by the dead Apostles, which were either eliminated by the locals, Islamic Jihad, or the major Christian factions like Rome. The Western and Eastern Emperors of Rome cared only for religion in the sense that it gave them more power over the peasants and foolish sheep. These institutions of man, after all, were the ones who crucified Jesus for being a rebel, and partially paid off Judas, as well as renaming Judea to Palestine as well as persecuting Christians in or out of the Roman army for refusing to convert in the 40 martyr story and others. They hadn't changed all that greatly over the centuries.

In terms of psychological propaganda, cultural transmission, that is important. Islam controls women to pass on their culture. And feminism has broken the US family and culture, primarily because they have captured the minds and souls of children, who then became women of course, that didn't have families to replace their faith in the Leftist cult. Cathars, who placed women as strategic centers, had this same power in and of themselves.

In terms of policy, my belief in training women to kill with the same techniques and power sources that allows anyone to override speed, strength, and size, that makes me closer to the Cathars. Very close, in fact. The Left, however, does not believe that the US military can successfully train women to be killers. That is not the point of their social control experiment. Nor does the US military allow anyone to be trained so that they can pull the trigger "when they feel like it", even if their personal safety is at risk. The US military has, previously of course, been meticulous in instilling controls, limiters, on when a soldier is allowed to fire. No blue on blue. No accidental discharges. You aren't allowed to fire, unless you are given an order to. Which is why rapists on military bases often don't get killed, even if the female personnel are on oversea bases that allow active firearm retention for the duration. For organization reasons, the Army sacrifices their personnel, for the duration or the purpose of the conflict, for their own peculiar reasons and goals.

People like me see little difference in training men or women in using asymmetrical attacks and methods. If you cannot win against the hierarchy or occupation using the rules or the status quo, then cheat. That is a simple approach.

The nice thing about training in the civilian world, is that you have no limiters. They instill nothing in you, other than the normal judgment a human has. Your limiters are your cultural limiters, your socialization chains. Break those, and there's nothing stopping a human from tapping the primal instinct.