Pope Francis has been breaking some stereotypes recently with commentaries that convey his infallible opinion that it isn’t the Vatican’s role to cast judgement on gays (“If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge”), or become fixated on abortion or marriage equality (“it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”). He even said that non-Christians may be welcomed into Heaven. Now the Pope has extended his reach into a more accepting and progressive practice of faith by embracing the notion of equality with regard to economics.
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“The world has become an idolator of this god called money. […] It is the consequence of a world choice, of an economic system that has at its centre an idol which is called money. […] To defend this economic culture, a throwaway culture has been installed. We throw away grandparents, and we throw away young people. We have to say no to this throwaway culture. We want a just system that helps everyone.”
American conservatives have long wallowed in their self-righteous exploitation of what they deemed to be Catholic doctrine. They have attempted to apply their feigned moral superiority to political opponents, even calling for Catholic churches to deny communion to people like Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry. These views are commonly expressed on Fox News where their resident Catholic correspondent, Father Jonathan Morris, went so far as to denounce an entire faction of Americans simply because they voted for President Obama, saying “If anybody voted for Barack Obama because he is pro-abortion, that would certainly be an objective moral wrong.”
Fox News is the closest thing in media to a Vatican PR office, with a roster that is heavily weighted with Roman-Catholics. They include: Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, Brian Kilmeade, Andrew Napolitano, Jeanine Pirro, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Kucinich, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Father Morris. Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox News parent News Corp was himself inducted into the “Knights of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great” by Pope John Paul II. And if that isn’t enough, the current Senior Communications Adviser in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, Greg Burke, was previously the Fox News correspondent covering the Vatican, a position he held for ten years.
The Catholic-centric dominance of Fox’s programming surely contributes to the network’s bias with regard to issues concerning abortion, gay rights and marriage equality. The Fox ministry even attaches Catholic dogma to peripheral matters like military service and ObamaCare. No wonder they wage a “War on Christmas” at the end of every year.
However, despite their pious adherence to alleged church doctrine when issues important to conservatives are raised, they blindly stumble past any criticism of Catholic politicians or pundits who stray from the path on matters like war and capital punishment, which the church vehemently opposes.
Now the message from the Pope is one that calls for turning away from rank profiteering and instead attending to the needs of the poor and those struggling to provide for their families; the elderly who have given their lives to build this nation and are now being abandoned by right-wingers who want to cut Social Security and Medicare; the young who, through no fault of their own, are suffering and hungrey and being denied decent housing and education. In other words, the Pope is standing up for the 99% who have done the most to make America what it is, but who are being trampled by an upper-crusty class of elitists, politicians, and gullible Teabaggers.
For years Fox News has made it’s opinions known on following the teachings of the Catholic church that so dominates their ranks. Now will they continue to do so when their spiritual leader demands that they focus their efforts on behalf of the American people who need help the most, rather than the billionaires who won’t ease their greedy grasp on a few of their beloved dollars so that children won’t starve or their parents won’t be denied life-saving medical care?
Will the Pope’s admonition that it is not necessary to talk about abortion and Marriage equality all the time be heeded so that people do not become victims of the “throwaway culture?” Or will Fox persist in demonizing the poor as lazy moochers who are a burden to society? I’ll give you one guess.