As Pope Francis flew to the United States for the first time, the pontiff assured journalists on the flight that he is not a liberal. Asked to comment on the many media outlets who are asking if the Pope is liberal, the Pope seemed bemused and decisive.
“Some people might say some things sounded slightly more left-ish, but that would be a mistake of interpretation,” he said before landing in the U.S. late Tuesday afternoon for his historic trip . “If you want me to pray the creed, I’m willing to do it.”
He underscored the point: “It is I who follows the church … my doctrine on all this … on economic imperialism, is that of the social doctrine of the church.”
It would also seem that His Holiness has a good sense of humor about those in the Church who want to see him as a Marxist or a communist or an anti-pope:
Pope Francis told the story that a Cardinal told him of a woman who asked him if it is true that the Bible speaks of an anti-Christ, even an anti-Pope, because she is sure Pope Francis is the anti-Pope because he does not wear red shoes. “I’m sure that I have not said anything more than what is in the social doctrine of the church,” Francis said.I don't know about you, but I've been trying to watch bits and pieces of His Holiness' arrival in the US (made a bit difficult by my somewhat elderly computer which no longer likes to stream any video). As I watched Pope Francis being driven away from the airport in a tiny Fiat, though, I had one question: does the pontiff read The Curt Jester?
But back to the serious stuff: anybody who thinks Pope Francis is a liberal probably hasn't read too much of those parts of the Catechism that deal with the Church's social teachings, which are as ancient and venerable as all her other teachings. She has always had a deep concern for the poor and the oppressed, and she echoes the same warnings you will find in Scripture about the accumulation of wealth, the defrauding of workers, the exploitation of the labor of the poor, the indifference toward the plight of the widow and orphan, and so on.
So: the pope is not a liberal. The pope is, in fact, Catholic. Stay tuned for more shocking revelations.