This is the the week before elections in the United States. Campaigns have propagandised their candidates in whatever ways they can, but they often play to, and re-inforce attitudes and beliefs that already exist in the populace. Our Pope, Francis, speaks words of Christian simplicity and elegance. These words are not welcome to certain people. I contend, one particular American political party, and many of its adherents, find these words troublesome, and contentious, if not revolting.
October 23: “all Christians and people of goodwill … to fight not only for the abolition of the death penalty be it legal or illegal, in all of its forms.”
“A life sentence is a death sentence which is concealed.” Francis went on to denounce torture wherever it is used, something that was official American policy after the 2000 election, and before the 2008 election. Not only in detention centers, and camps, “but also in prisons, in rehabilitation centers for minors, in psychiatric hospitals, in police stations and in other institutions for detention or punishment.”
Now, compare this also to the judges (and others) that are running commercials bragging on their toughness, and execution of “the letter of the law”.
October 27: “When we read in Genesis the account of Creation, we risk imagining God as a magician, with a wand able to make everything. But it is not so. He created beings and allowed them to develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one, so that they were able to develop and to arrive and their fullness of being. He gave autonomy to the beings of the universe at the same time at which he assured them of his continuous presence, giving being to every reality. And so creation continued for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia, until it became which we know today, precisely because God is not a demiurge or a magician, but the creator who gives being to all things.”
“The Big Bang, which nowadays is posited as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine act of creating, but rather requires it. The evolution of nature does not contrast with the notion of creation, as evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve.”
This pope, as did others, does not have a problem with science and its discoveries. How many Americans do? and how many run for school boards?
October 28: “If I talk about this, some will think that the pope is communist. They don't understand that love for the poor is at the center of the Gospel. Demanding this isn't unusual, it's the social doctrine of the church.” That certainly would roil the worshipers of mammon. The United States worships mammon, and hates the poor.
Now, we have many Catholics (with collar and without) resisting the leadership of Francis. Some of the bourgeois commentariat are openly encouraging dissent, while others take his words as an exercise of verbal contortion and gymnastics.
Now, years ago, Albert Camus gave a speech to the Dominicans of the University of Paris. He acknowledged that the Catholic Church was against fascism during the Second World War, but he scolded and challenged the intensity and clarity of the opposition.
“What the world expects of Christians is that Christians should speak out, loud and clear, and that they should voice their condemnation in such a way that never a doubt, never the slightest doubt, could rise in the heart of the simplest man. That they should get away from the abstraction and confront the blood-stained face history has taken on today.” — Albert Camus *1913, 1960†Francis would satisfy Albert. Francis preaches the Gospel.