Yeah, it’s kinda uncool and even tacky to interpret the Holy Father’s words in political terms, but this is a political blog, so I thought I’d share this NPR piece, “The 10 Most Political Moments In Pope Francis’ Address To Congress.” Here are the 10 moments, with my comments appended.
- Embracing John Kerry — Significant because of Kerry’s position on abortion, which got him in trouble with the hierarchy several years back.
- A call to rise above polarization — See, I knew it! Both the Democrats and Republicans may want to claim him, but this Pope is UnParty all the way!
- A call for the country to open its arms to immigrants and refugees — Because you know, America, you are a nation of immigrants.
- A reminder on abortion — Hugs or not, don’t forget that you’re still wrong on this one, Secretary Kerry.
- Strongly advocating for abolishing the death penalty — Another aspect of the Consistent Ethic of Life.
- Poverty and the necessity of ‘distribution of wealth’ — Not a big applause line with the GOP members, I imagine (I didn’t actually see the speech).
- Business should be about ‘service to the common good’ — Which means, don’t be like VW.
- Calling on Congress to act on climate change — God, who made the Earth loves it, and we are its stewards.
- Anti-war message and a call to stop arms trade — OK, so he had some admonitions to throw my way, too. And I don’t disagree, much as that might surprise you.
- The importance of family and marriage — As y’all know, I’m definitely totally with him there. As my grandchildren grow, I’m more and more about it all the time.
There were political messages that challenged the orthodoxy of both American political parties, but, in this 51-minute address, there were a lot more points of emphasis Democrats are happy about — and that put some pressure on Republicans.
But here’s the thing: If you’re Catholic — meaning that the you believe the things that Catholics believe, rather than just being culturally a mackerel-snapper — you can’t be comfortable in either of the two major parties.
Occasionally over the years, when people have asked me where I am on the political spectrum, I have said I’m not on the spectrum; I’m Catholic.
Today, the Pope reminded me why…