Thursday, September 24, 2015

What the pope really said

I wasn't able to watch the pope's speech to Congress today, but I did read the text, and you can too: the whole speech is here.

You would think that most Catholics would be delighted both by Pope Francis' addressing Congress at all and by the specifics of this speech.  Alas, there are some who are not.  Some of my fellow Catholics are playing the game of, "But he said/but he didn't say..."

Here are some examples (with all papal quotes from this source and all emphases added):

But Pope Francis didn't say anything about abortion!
On the other, the figure of Moses leads us directly to God and thus to the transcendent dignity of the human being. Moses provides us with a good synthesis of your work: you are asked to protect, by means of the law, the image and likeness fashioned by God on every human face.
But he didn't say anything about the redefinition of marriage!
I will end my visit to your country in Philadelphia, where I will take part in the World Meeting of Families. It is my wish that throughout my visit the family should be a recurrent theme. How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.
He spends all his time talking about illegal immigrants and the poor!
Today I would like not only to address you, but through you the entire people of the United States. Here, together with their representatives, I would like to take this opportunity to dialogue with the many thousands of men and women who strive each day to do an honest day’s work, to bring home their daily bread, to save money and –one step at a time – to build a better life for their families. These are men and women who are not concerned simply with paying their taxes, but in their own quiet way sustain the life of society. They generate solidarity by their actions, and they create organizations which offer a helping hand to those most in need.
He is a political leftist!
All political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776). If politics must truly be at the service of the human person, it follows that it cannot be a slave to the economy and finance.
He is a Marxist who doesn't care about the unborn!
We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12).
This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.
The truth is, Pope Francis isn't the caricature that some on the secular right keep making him out to be.  Read the speech for yourselves, and ponder what it is he's actually saying; it's worth it.

1 comment:

David Sharples said...

Great take.
After listening to and watching Pope Francis's speech to: the President, the Congress and the UN; I am now convinced that I cannot trust virtually any news source including many Catholic sources for what the Pope actually.. talks about.
I must listen and if possible watch the speeches myself.
Thank God for modern technology which makes that possible!