The Pope and the Politicians

CSPAN Pope Coverage. Here is the live video of Pope Francis addressing congress.

10:10 It looks like the pope is going to remind Congress of the history of America, but not before he takes up the cause of the working poor and immigrants.

10:15 The pope uses Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton as his points in his talk.

10:18 He points out the simple reductionism of “good/evil” that causes polarization.

10:20 I’m noticing a lot of “golf-claps” and you can tell there is too much concentration for many of these folks to muster. The pope so far is heading toward platitudes and generalities.

10:23 He mentions slavery, injustice, and a need for a new “common good.”

10:24 Did he come to encourage a move toward socialism?

10:26 MLK. He now moves on to dreams, and the dream of America. “We are not afraid of foreigners, because most of us were foreigners.” He is now talking about immigrants. He’s actually starting to get some life.

10:29 He brings up the European migrant crisis, and the state of immigration in the U.S. “We must not view them as numbers, but as persons, and see their faces.” “We must respond to them as persons.” He quotes the Golden Rule. The Dems are eating this up.

10:33 He moves to the death penalty. He quotes the Declaration of Independence. Will he mention abortion?

10:35 He sees crime and punishment as an open ended hope for redemption. Good.

10:36 Dorothy Day.

10:38 Francis is the pope of the poor. This is his message. So far that is the message of his talk. He now moves onto the earth as well.

10:40 So far he has not said anything that deviates from other public statements about the poor and the environment. I sure hope there is a punch line. This may have been a wasted opportunity.
“Conquering poverty, restoring dignity, and at the same time protecting nature.”

10:42 Ah, Thomas Merton. “He remains a source of spiritual inspiration for many people.” “Free by nature, and made in the image of God.”

10:44 War is the picture of hell itself. “Merton was first a man of prayer, a thinker, who challenged the ideas of his time.” “He was a man of dialogue, and a promoter of peace.”

10:46 The pope goes after arming rogue states.

10:50 World meeting of Families. The family should be a recurrent theme. The family has been essential to the building of this country.
“Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, that is threatened.”
Relationships have been redefined. Never talks in specifics.

10:52 Points out the needs of the young. “Their problems are our problems.”
From the applause, it is clear the reps are not listening, just waiting for a gap in the talking.

10:54 Get ready for Dems over the next year quoting the pope. He didn’t mention the attacks on religious freedom. Missed opportunity.

My final take. I’m not sure why the pope addressed congress. It was very soft on lots of things, other than encouraging a move toward a social-democracy. Given the state of the world, he could have made some statements that would shift ideas and policies. He is not John Paul II for sure. We are in an era when the government of man is coming to an end. We really can’t look to any man or woman in this hour. I guess that is a good thing.

My Final, Final take. We are really have a global crisis of leadership. When I watched elected officials clapping at odd moments because they weren’t paying attention, or the pope talking in platitudes (with a lot of Marxism thrown in) at a moment of global upheaval; I wondered what is going to happen next. Fortunately, I believe God is still on the throne. As psalm 3 reminds us, “He who sits in heaven laughs. The Lord will put them in derision.” There is no King but Jesus, so Jesus come be the King of your Kingdom!