If Pope Francis wants people to believe that he isn’t a Communist, then he is going to need the help of a public-relations person and a speech writer.
During the Pontiff’s visit to Bolivia, the president of that nation presented Francis with a crucifix carved into a wooden hammer and sickle, as seen in a photo published by The Telegraph.
Granted, the Pontiff didn’t ask for such a gift, and he couldn’t publicly reject the gift without appearing rude. Still, if he hasn’t already done so, then he needs to have a public-relations person to say what will become of that gift. Will it be put on public display within the Vatican, or will it be locked away in a collection of odd artifacts within a museum?
Photos of Pope Francis holding such a gift make him look bad even if he loathes it.
In the light of his acceptance of such a gift, Francis’ recent comments about capitalism aren’t coming across well to people on the right side of the political spectrum.
Quoting a fourth century bishop, he called the unfettered pursuit of money “the dung of the devil”, and said poor countries should not be reduced to being providers of raw material and cheap labour for developed countries.
He [Francis] also condemned, before a crowd of leftist activists invited by Morales’ government for a World Summit of Social Movements, the “injustices” of a capitalist system that puts profits ahead of people and denies people basic rights of “land, lodging and labor.”
Perhaps if a speech writer had written the Pontiff’s remarks for him, then Francis could blame the speech writer for the way the words are interpreted, because the words could be interpreted as being an endorsement of anti-capitalism.
In the Pontiff’s defense, the Associated Press reports, “Francis has said several times that concern for the poor and marginalized is at the center of the Gospel, but has denied he’s preaching communism or any other political ideology. He’s called Marxism wrong.”
Yes, unlike Communists, Pope Francis believes that Marxism is wrong, and he hasn’t called for a state takeover of all businesses and other private property. So, the Pontiff really isn’t a Communist, despite what a few shrill pundits claim. Yet, Francis keeps bewildering people with some of his statements.
Perhaps the Pontiff’s critics simply don’t understand the Catholic thought that popes have expressed throughout the centuries.
Perhaps his critics are unfamiliar with the various Bible verses that warn against putting economic gain ahead of the needs of people trapped in poverty.
Perhaps his critics are simply too busy worshipping at the altar of “Me” to see that Francis is preaching Christian responsibility for those whom Jesus called “the least of these.”
Then again, perhaps Francis should take a cue from Moses, who let his brother Aaron do all the talking for him. Let a competent speech writer improve the way that Francis talks, and let a public relations person lock the aforementioned gift away in a dark, dusty room, never to be seen in public again.
If Pope Francis wants to promote a Third Way, as opposed to promoting Communism or unfettered capitalism, then he needs to improve the way that he delivers his message. After all, not even a pontiff is perfect.
POST UPDATE: In the below comments section, Rick Rice reveals what became of the gift that Pope Francis received from Bolivia’s president. This writer apologizes for his lack of such knowledge.
Originally published at The Moderate Voice.
Featured Image: Pope Francis graffiti in the “Abode of Chaos” museum of contemporary art, in Saint-Romain-au-Mont-d’Or, Rhône-Alpes region, France. Retrieved from Wikipedia Commons.