Monday, May 18, 2015

Behind the Pope’s Embrace of Castro

Mary Anastasia O'Grady writes in WSJ:
The warmth and hospitality that Pope Francis showed to Raúl Castro at the Vatican last week has baffled many Catholics—and for good reason. The dictator went to Rome for a PR boost. The pontiff obliged him.

During their encounter Castro mocked the faith with a quip about returning to the church if the pope behaved. He also mocked every Cuban refugee, dead or alive, by giving the pope, of all things, a piece of art depicting a migrant at prayer.

Pope Francis gave the dictator a copy of his 2013 apostolic exhortation titled “The Joy of the Gospel,” in which he sharply criticizes economic freedom. Talk about preaching to the converted. As Raúl put it, “The pontiff is a Jesuit, and I, in some way, am too. I studied at Jesuit schools.” No kidding....

I can only speculate about the Holy Father’s Cuba views. But he is earning a dubious political reputation. In August 2014, he lifted the church’s 29-year ban on Maryknoll priest Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann’s right to celebrate Mass. The communist cleric who once served as Nicaraguan foreign minister for the Marxist Sandinistas was demoted by Pope John Paul II for refusing to get out of politics.

After the ban was lifted, Father d’Escoto rushed to denounce the late beloved Polish pontiff for “an abuse of authority.” He also declared Fidel Castro a messenger of the Holy Spirit in “the necessity of struggle” to establish “the reign of God on this earth that is the alternative to the empire.”

Last week Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez, the Peruvian who launched liberation theology, was back at the Vatican. He told journalists that the church never condemned his brand of thinking and praised Pope Francis’ views on poverty. He didn’t mention the sharp drop in Peruvian poverty since policy makers threw out his ideas. Maybe the pope will talk about it on his September trip to Cuba.

No comments:

Post a Comment