Friday, April 8, 2016

pendulum swings

So, amidst the Amor Laetitia reactions came this news:  Bernie Sanders is going to the Vatican...just days before the New York Democratic Primary (April 19). From the NY Times:

Mr. Sanders tried to move beyond the controversy and stressed his fondness for the pope and the importance of his visit. In an interview on Friday, he said Pope Francis had played a “profound role in raising consciousness throughout the world, not just within the Catholic community but within all communities.”
“To me, this a source of real pride and excitement that I have been invited to speak to a major conference at the Vatican on how we can create a world economy that is moral and how we address the massive levels of wealth and income inequality that exist around the world, how we deal with unemployment, how we deal with poverty and how we create an economy that works for all people rather than the few,” Mr. Sanders said.
On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Mr. Sanders explained that while he disagreed with Pope Francis on issues relating to women’s rights and gay rights, he admired the pope for speaking about income inequality and the need for people to help one another.
“He has played an unbelievable role, an unbelievable role of injecting a moral consequence into the economy,” said Mr. Sanders, who would become the first Jewish president in the United States if elected. “He is talking about the idolatry of money, the worship of money, the greed that’s out there, how our whole culture is based on: ‘I need more and more and more.'”
Read it all here.

OK, at first I will admit being surprised.  It seems clear Sanders sought this for political advantage, and while this blog hasn't tackled the issue, other Catholic bloggers have considered the ramifications of "Can Catholics vote for Bernie Sanders (or Donald Trump)?"  That sort of question always seems to devolve into the usual Catholic left/right dichotomies bedeviling both the Church itself and our contemporary discourse.

Then it dawned on me.

Pope Francis already met with--however briefly (thank God!)--Kim Davis, she the Kentucky county clerk who briefly went to jail for refusing to sign same-sex marriage contracts.  She ran across Pope Francis' path during his US visit in September, 2015.  Steps have since been taken to reprimand the Vatican official who arranged the meeting unbeknownst to Pope Francis.  In other words, the Holy Father got surprised, didn't like it (understandably), and quietly communicated that.

Makes you wonder what will happen when Sanders' clear support of abortion rights becomes known, if not already, through the Vatican halls.

1 comment:

  1. I must admit, despite an initial posting of my own... I just want to take a long, slow, prayerful read of the document. It will take time.

    OOPS - thought I was commenting on the other post. Well, I will leave it and press on with this comment for this post! I have to agree with something Massimo Faggioli said, which is that if he was indeed invited, Sanders should have declined at this time. If any candidate were invited, they should decline during the heat of the election season.

    And while I am not so full of suspicion or intrigue-theory, whoever did this could have done it to make Pope Francis look bad.