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Pope Francis just expertly trolled his critics
The Week, by Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig

Original Article

Posted By:mitzi, 7/5/2014 1:01:24 PM

When faced with a McCarthy-esque smear campaign, best to pull a communist switcheroo. Since Pope Francis began speaking in public about the Christian view on economic matters, opponents have engaged in what often feels like a McCarthy-era smear campaign, accusing the Pope of things like Marxism, communism, and Leninism. (snip) Rather than making another attempt to roundly decry a set of ideologies no one seriously suspects him of adhering to, Pope Francis turned the criticisms around on the critics: "I can only say that the communists have stolen our flag. The flag of the poor is Christian. Poverty is at the


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Reply 1 - Posted by: mc squared, 7/5/2014 1:08:58 PM     (No. 9911976)

What has poverty ever done to improve mankind? I wish popes would stick to their field: saving souls.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Majorch2, 7/5/2014 1:12:38 PM     (No. 9911983)

Many people have to endure poverty. And one of the Pope´s "fields" is easing people´s pain

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Doc Obiwan, 7/5/2014 1:14:16 PM     (No. 9911986)

All these leftists who love the Pope when he sounds like a Marxist, turn into foaming at the mouth anger when he talks about birth control or abortion.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Starlady, 7/5/2014 1:15:37 PM     (No. 9911987)

The Pope ought to expertly troll his job of being head of the Catholic Church. There are many areas that could use his energy and attention. He´s another Obama; all talk, no work.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: steveW, 7/5/2014 1:21:38 PM     (No. 9911993)

No, Francis, the flag of "the poor" is, in fact, Red. Such unfortunate allies you have chosen.

And if poverty is indeed at the center of the Gospel, perhaps you could set a good example and donate the vast riches of Vatican City to "the poor"...

Marxism is bad enough. When cloaked in "spiritual purpose" it is even worse, because more seductive. The fax that more Leftists like this Pope than not should be the biggest Red flag of all.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: oh-heck, 7/5/2014 1:33:22 PM     (No. 9912000)

Its an immutable law of nature that money collected by the government to aid the poor never actually alleviates the suffering or the number of the poor. But over the centuries, religious and community programs do. Subsidiarity is the Catholic Churches principle that these social problems should be dealt with at the lowest possible level both for the good of the poor but also for the betterment of the faith of the community. Certainly none of the previous 3 popes has suggested that a national government should take responsibility for the homeless, hungry, needy, or sick.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: TunnelRat, 7/5/2014 1:36:42 PM     (No. 9912007)

" rather than Christianity looking suspiciously communist over its concern for the poor, perhaps communism looks suspiciously Christian."

Sorry, I don´t buy this.

"In fact, it would seem rather impossible to practice any legitimate form of Christianity without seeking justice for the poor."

I don´t buy this, either. This so-called "justice for the poor," or social justice, usually refers to "distributing the wealth" by taxing the producers in order to support the non-producers. This has nothing to do with Christ, nor even with Christianity.

Rather the Bible says:

"You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor." (Leviticus 19:15 RSV)

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Reply 8 - Posted by: mitzi, 7/5/2014 1:36:48 PM     (No. 9912008)

#5 ... I was waiting for someone to make that suggestion. Definitely not original though. Judas made a similar suggestion (John 12:5).

For anyone who might be harboring the same idea ... google The Myth of Vatican Wealth–on Helping the Poor written by Jeffrey L. Morrow in March 2013.

The wealth of Harvard University far surpasses that of the Vatican.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: Megrits, 7/5/2014 2:11:31 PM     (No. 9912043)

It took Lech Walesa to school John Paul II in the economic devastation that is socialism, Marxism, communism. Methinks this pope needs an "economic" education too. No wonder the left thinks he´s so great; that is until he speaks out against abortion, homosexual "marriage" and birth control.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: shamus, 7/5/2014 2:21:27 PM     (No. 9912053)

Free markets have done more to eliminate poverty than the Catholic church ever has. If Francis actually believed in justice for the poor he should use the trillions of dollars hoarded by the Catholic church to help the poor. Instead, all he´s doing is calling on governments to confiscate property from productive segments of the economy. This strategy is more likely to create poverty than to reduce it.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Lalo, 7/5/2014 2:39:26 PM     (No. 9912065)

The Catholic Church does more for the poor than anyone else - has more useful agencies & so forth. What the Pope may be trying to do is to awaken capitalist society to at least a genuine concern for others. If such a concern were visible, it would snatch the rug out from under capitalism´s critics.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: Muncssister, 7/5/2014 3:05:36 PM     (No. 9912094)

#10 with all do respect that is simply not the case. The Catholic Church is the world´s largest charitable organization. The Catholic Church built western civilization-- it created hospitals, founded the college and university system, preserved countless pieces of art, literature and historic documents from destruction, founded orphanages, compiled the bible and runs the largest education system in the world. Catholic missionaries blanket the earth-- many of the most remote places in the world benefit from the charity of the Catholic Church alone. The Catholic Church went to war during the crusades to protect western culture and preserve freedom. Do you think the American founders just came up with the idea of freedom by themselves? Of course not. They may have been Protestant, but that concept was (and still is) fostered by the Catholic Church.

While not everything the Vatican does is perfect and not every Pope says the right things all of the time, I am thankful to God for the gift if the Church. Without it, life as we know it would not exist. That is an absolute fact.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: Megrits, 7/5/2014 3:30:04 PM     (No. 9912108)

Pope Francis is not in control of the so called vast hoardes of money under lock and key at the Vatican. There are too many people who know next to nothing about the Catholic Church and the role of the pontificate making nothing more than uninformed, and notably hostile observations.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: god of irony, 7/5/2014 6:57:44 PM     (No. 9912261)

Since the Pope denounced "trickle down"economics, I´ve decided not to trickle down my donations.

#11 and 12 you confuse taking care of the poor with ending poverty. I suggest you visit the Bible on the difference between giving a fish and teaching someone to fish.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: mitzi, 7/5/2014 7:39:26 PM     (No. 9912290)

#14 - You are free to do whatever you wish with your "time, talent and treasure." Those choices will have an impact on where you spend eternity.

And ... FYI:

The saying, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" is not from the Bible. It is an old Chinese proverb.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: Lalo, 7/5/2014 10:03:23 PM     (No. 9912371)

"#11 and 12 you confuse taking care of the poor with ending poverty. I suggest you visit the Bible on the difference between giving a fish and teaching someone to fish."

Ironically, I said nothing about taking care of the poor or ending poverty. I said the Catholic Church ´does more for the poor than anyone else" & has useful agencies to help them. Anything beyond that is sheer projection. I just now googled "Catholic Church programs that help the poor help themselves" and there was an endless series of pages. I stopped scrolling to the right at 16 pages full of items fitting that description.

I am not a Catholic by the way - just a citizen who has a some antennae out for helpers in the community. And nevermind the Bible verses that would endorse helping people in need. There are too many of them to list!

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