Today’s Festival of Conservative Francis Hate

Today’s Festival of Conservative Francis Hate September 21, 2015

In addition to a Congressional member of the Greatest Catholics of All Time boycotting the Pope rather than so much as hear about new ideas and stuff because the pope is not coming to pledge support for a new war but to talk about Laudato Si, the Party of Crazy also offers these welcome mats to the Successor of Peter:

George Will loses his mind and announces his conversion to the Know Nothings. Really, actually declares: “Americans cannot simultaneously honor him and celebrate their nation’s premises.”


“Go Home!  You don’t speak English!” from the Nativist Mob who hate pope for speaking the same language as the Muslims from Honduras


FOX News’ Catholic Brian Kilmeade tells Francis to go back where he came because  Mammon is what we proudly worship (Chris Wallace give it a wink and a nod).

You know, it’s being reported by Breitbart that Obama is giving Francis a rude welcome by Obama because he is inviting (along with 15,000 other people) some Catholics who openly dissent from the Church on pelvic issues.  I agree it’s rude and politicized and the rest.

But here’s the thing.  Obama’s not a Catholic.  He will, therefore, not see the Church’s teaching or the office of Peter as something he is duty-bound to respect.  He sees Francis from a purely secular view as a head of state who needs to change his archaic beliefs.  It’s what non-Catholics do.

But people like Congresscritter Cosar and Kilmeade flaunt themselves as Catholics.  They claim to respect the Church. Jesus has something to say to them: “Those to whom much is given, much will be required.”

Obama is, I think, rather obviously anti-Catholic and hostile to the Church on a number of points.  Duly noted.

But here’s the thing: Jesus has almost nothing to say to us about external enemies of the faith except “If they hated me, they will hate you too” and some consoling remarks to the effect that should hostility come to us from enemies outside the Church, well then cowboy up, ask for grace to endure whatever persecution comes and if it comes down to it, die well.

But when it comes to tempters within the Church, he has much more stern words about millstones around necks and so forth.  He is, in a word, far more concerned about sin than he is about trouble.  As he puts it, “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him!” (Lk 12:4–5). Catholics who run around preaching defiance of the pope are a much more serious problem than rude non-Catholics. Conservatism is now the principal bastion of naked anti-Catholicism in American culture. And the worst of them all are those who exalt conservative dogmas to attack the Magisterium and do so while claiming they are models of “Faithful Conservative Catholicism”.  Millstones, indeed.  

Corruptio optimi pessima.

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  • Joseph

    Wow. George Will I’m surprised. Though I agree that maybe, just maybe, Pope Francis should do a bit more to combat the tide of same-sex marriage and abortion flowing through all Western countries like a tsunami at the moment rather than climate change (though I do understand that he’s more focused on our greed, selfishness, and over-consumption in that regard) when speaking to Evangelicals and Calvinist Catholics (which is basically the US in a nutshell), George Will’s article is an anti-Catholic screed and is very insulting to all Catholics, not just the Pope. I feel like I just left a private discussion of Catholicism with John Hagee. I never thought George Will hated me and my family that much!

  • I figure that even “bad” Catholics want to see the Pope, and they wouldn’t get invited to the Bishops’ reception, so President Obama was just being nice by letting them into his. I’d b e excited to see the Pope live, and I’m not even Catholic!

    • Joseph

      Well, Obama is a man full of ulterior motives and he never misses a beat when it comes to doing something publicly that rubs Catholics the wrong way. Though it’s nice to give people the benefit of the doubt, I don’t think that Obama was thinking that it would be *nice* to give Catholics that openly flout the Church’s teachings a chance to meet the Pope. I don’t think Obama is required for that. It’s not like the access of sinners to the Pope is blocked by a bunch of Catholic bouncers. The Pope would gladly meet with them anyway and I’m sure he’ll be gracious at this event with those people as well, even if Obama invited them as a slap in the face.
      In the end, it doesn’t matter. Obama isn’t Catholic. He’s got a special place in his heart to agitate the Catholic Church as can be displayed in his policies and actions. So be it. It’s not like we can expect a neo-pagan society to conform to Catholic understanding. Let them play their games as long as no one gets hurt.

    • AnneG

      I’ve had several chances because pope’s have come to cities where I worked. I don’t like functions and wouldn’t go.

      • I can fully understand that–it’s not much fun to see someone famous if you’re uncomfortable the whole time.

    • There is a diplomatic protocol for this where guest lists are passed to the friendly visiting head of state and if there’s somebody the visitor doesn’t want invited, they don’t get invited. This protocol was not followed. You do that when you want to slap your visitor in the face but do it delicately. So why is President Obama slapping Pope Francis around and, as citizens, what should our judgment be over this affair?

      • Andy

        Are you sure it wasn’t followed? I would like a reference that says that with authority.

        • Since such list passing is never done publicly, you aren’t going to have an IG report on the issue. What’s traditionally done is that the prep team from the visiting head of state complain anonymously to the press. That does seem to be happening.

          • Andy

            Or is it possible that Francis decided to dine with the sinners? Since we don’t know what happened to suggest that the protocol wasn’t followed seems inappropriate

            • This is possible, I suppose. For that to be true, the curia would be a whole new and higher level of dysfunctional than I had been considering with Francis in control of the guest list but not his complaining subordinates who decided to make a gratuitous attack on Obama.

              I find that scenario to be improbable.

              • Andy

                My sense of the Curia is that dysfunction is its stock and trade in so many ways. I am not defending Obama, I would guess that his protocol folks gave more sense than that. I would wonder how many folks who oppose other teachings the church will be present – contraception, abortion and so on.

                • rmichaelj

                  Do you mean disagree with, or publicly oppose? There is a difference when it comes to what would be considered an insult to a visiting head of state

                  • Andy

                    I suspect in reading statements from the Vatican that Pope Francis is not insulted – he preaches the need for encounter and meeting one another.
                    As far as I can see there are people invited who would appear to publicly oppose various teachings of the church – and not just the “pelvic” issues who will be present. Should the pope ignore these folks?
                    I was listening this morning to the radio and a commentator – I forget the name, my bad, talked about the meeting the pope had with Fidel Castro. He phrased as the pope reaching out to people, and that we should not read into the meeting anything more than that – he had a meeting with Fidel Castro who was once a Catholic and that it in no way shows support for Castro’s behaviors. I see this as the same – actually different because how many folks will be there and how many wi. the pope actually talk with?
                    I believe that we in the US put our political – right/left spin on everything and ignore what Jesus did and what Pope Francis seems to be trying to do.

  • AnneG

    George Will is an agnostic. His op-Ed is acerbic, but I did not see anything to flip out about. I believe we should use our resources carefully, but I know alternate fuels to wood burning and modern advances in agriculture have raised the world out of poverty and starvation. I also know that much of the climate stuff is bogus. NOAA has been caught changing and falsifying stats, for example. Climate change is real and cyclical, anthropogenic climate change is political and not scientifically verifiable.
    Brian Kilmeade on your hated Fox News, said some rude things, but their religion reporter, Loren Green, who is not Catholic, gave a good summary of PF’s teachings.
    I’ve read a lot about Jorge Bergoglio, in English and Spanish. I know he has shown extraordinary courage and virtue during the Guerra Sucia in Argentina. I also know Argentina is a very strange place. It has been isolated economically since the ’30’s, has watched their economy plunge from one of the highest in the world to one of the most unstable. Their government has been isolationist and corrupt for that long, with a heavy dose of fascist populism. Jorge Bergoglio grew up in that system. He admitted last week that he didn’t know anything about the middle class and said he would learn.
    Nobody needs to be rude, especially not congressmen, but there is lots of room for faithful Catholics to disagree.
    Finally, I listened to his homily and Angelus yesterday. It was very cautious and ok.
    Card Ortega y Alamino’s address was actually better. But, the pope is being cautious and hopeful. I hope it isn’t in vain.
    And I don’t care if he speaks Spanish or English.lots of native Spanish speakers have trouble with English and I speak Spanish. Btw, Mark, I’m conservative politically and a faithful Catholic, but Catholic first. What’s wrong with being a Catholic Evangelical?

    • Joseph

      You should read it again. There are many underhanded barbs to Catholicism and Catholics in general. It’s a pretty nasty piece. I’m pretty disappointed in him. I didn’t think he was that anti-Catholic.

  • Alma Peregrina

    “Americans cannot simultaneously honor him (the Pope) and celebrate their nation’s premises”

    Spoken like a true catholic! Not being able to serve two masters is exactly what Christ teaches!

    Now, I do agree with everything Mark said about the True Catholics (TM) republicans reaction to the pope…

    … but I do not agree with what was said about Obama.

    Sure, Obama is not catholic. But he is christian. And he should therefore, abide by Christ’s and biblical teaching.

    As for “to whom much is given, much will be required”, well, Obama is the President of the freakin’ US of A! Much is required of him, for much was given him.

    Also, let’s not Forget that the True Catholic (TM) syndrome is not exclusive to the right. Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and, in fact, every single bad catholic that was invited to attend the reception (all those pro-LGBT and pro-abortion “catholic” organizations) have the same syndrome. But, instead of thinking “Jesus first commandment was: Thou shalt make profit, woe for those who are poor, for they are surely lazy and deserving of what happened to them”, they think: “Woa, dude, Jesus was like, totally peace and love, and do not judge and live and let live, man!”

    They all think that they’re better catholics than the pope precisely because they are disobedient to Church teaching. They are to be the true interpreters of Christ’s will on Earth. No diference between the left and the right on that regard.

    Which leads us to the quotation that opened this commentary. Both left and right-wing catholic politicians are politicians first and catholics second. They love their ideology with all their strenght, with all their mind and with all their spirit and God is just a bonus on the argument armamentarium in favor of said ideology.

    • AnneG

      Just one thing. President Obama was baptized UCC. I don’t know what their formula for baptism is, or if we consider it valid. He said he did it for political reasons. Functionally, he is a transnational progressive and agnostic.

      • HornOrSilk

        Where do you get he is “agnostic” from? Many of his speeches talk about the saving work of Christ- so much so, Rush Limbaugh ridiculed him for it!

        • ManyMoreSpices

          Is Obama a Christian? A few thoughts:

          (1) If he professes the Name, if he says that Jesus is the Son of God, that He was crucified, died, and rose to new life… normally that’s good enough for me. There aren’t many circumstances when I ever have to inquire into the sincerity of anyone’s faith. Mr. X says he’s a Christian, and I accept that.

          (2) Obama’s public acts contrary to the teachings of the Church don’t diminish my belief that he is a Christian. He’s probably a lousy Christian, but so am I. I’m not going to turn the stupid “you sin, therefore you are not a Christian” argument that we hear from non-Christians around on Obama. It’s always a bad argument. Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden probably shouldn’t receive communion, but they’re still Christians.

          (3) Having said all that, if you press me on whether I think he actually believes the stuff he’s saying about his Christian faith, well… no. No I don’t. I think he’s probably an agnostic who doesn’t spend much time pondering the question, much like you’d expect every other baby-boomer, double-Ivy, raised-without-Christianity, not-belonging-to-a-church-until-the-exact-moment-when-it-became-politically-essential-and-then-joining-one-that’s-more-about-lefty-politics-than-the-Gospel, Democratic-voting, calling-religion-something-you-“cling to”-along-with-xenophobia-and-guns, law professor to be. To my ear, Obama says “I’m a Christian” the same way he said “I don’t support same-sex marriage” from 2007 through May of 2012. Everyone knew that was a cynical ploy to get votes. The Obamabots didn’t care that they were being lied to, because Obama is Awesome, and that’s just what you have to do to get the rubes in Jesusland to vote for you. Everyone knew that Bill Clinton was lying to them, too, but I just dialed in to AOL and OMG my 401(k) balance!!!

          To hear Obama talk about Christianity is to hear a bright guy who just read an article in the Science section of the New York Times tell you about the Higgs boson.He regurgitates what he heard, which isn’t much, and he understands very little of what he regurgitates. It’s for that reason that “but the Crusades” has become a macabre punchline every time ISIS lops off a few heads. He knows about as much about the Crusades as he knows about car insurance, and remember, this is a guy who doesn’t understand how car insurance works. Keep that in mind when tells you about the Inquisition or the Knights Templar or Galileo or Bruno or that chart about how the Christian Dark Ages ruined science or whatever he’s on about to make the Junior Varsity Jihad that he’s mismanaging look not-so-bad.

          Again, normally I don’t question professions of Christianity. But when someone ties a profession of Christianity to trying to get something out of me, whether it’s a buck or my vote, the same skepticism that applies to any claim by any salesman or pol is valid. The Democrats need you to believe that Obama is a Christian. That’s what they’re selling you: Barack Obama – God’s Other Son.

          I submit to you that any time an advertisement for anything feels the need to push a point super, super hard, it’s bullsh!t.

          I particularly enjoy the part at the bottom: “Barack on the Power of Prayer.” Not “Obama.” Not “Senator Obama.” Nope, we’re going with “Barack” because it’s time to get Real with you Jesus-wheezing idiots, and you dopes are more likely to trust me if I act like we’re on a first-name basis. Come on, does Obama strike you as someone who believes in the power of prayer? And if so, do you want to get that bump checked out? The bump you got on your noggin when you tumbled off the turnip truck?

          That’s what the Democrats want you to buy with your votes. Caveat emptor.

          • HornOrSilk

            No, it ties in with your politics, and you sound like all those who find ways to disregard the faith of others, like those who act like St Constantine the Great, Friend of the Logos, Equal to the Apostles, was not a true Christian. No, Obama is not anything like Constantine in faith, but the political argument is made for Constantine the same way you have done for Obama, often by people who have an agenda to deny public statements of faith as having any actual value.

            • ManyMoreSpices

              Nah, bro. I have no problem acknowledging that people well to my political left can be great Christians.

              But Obama’s a bullshit artist.

              • HornOrSilk

                And they say that about all people in power… who talk about their faith. Your hate has hindered you.

                • ManyMoreSpices

                  Hate? Child please.

                  I think Joe Biden is sincere in his profession of belief in Catholicism, despite his abundant heterodoxy.

                  So let me ask you this: Do you think Obama was sincere when he said that he opposed same-sex marriage, and that he was “evolving”? Because I’m interested in your credulity when it comes to stuff Obama asserts.

                  • HornOrSilk

                    Do you think St Constantine was sincere at Nicea, when he said he supported the homoousios? See, this is the kind of question which is invalid because it tries to get into the head of people, which we can’t do. But it is also the way to undermine them in fallacious rhetoric.

                    • ManyMoreSpices

                      We judge people’s sincerity all the time. If you don’t think we do, I have a very nice bridge that I’d like to sell you.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      I think that ManyMoreSpices didn’t judge Obama’s christianity… he/she just said that we should exercise caution when a politician uses said christianity for political gain.

                      I think ManyMoreSpices is correct on that regard.

                      As far as St. Constantine goes, it is really indiferent, for the emperor’s profession of the homoousios will not arness political power from me, so I won’t have to discern about his sincerity.

                      But must that mean that I may vote for every candidate that flaunts his/her christianity? Of course not! As Christ Himself lamented, the sons of the Light should be more cunning than snakes.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      Oh, MMS clearly was judging the Christianity and is engaging typical liberal (yes, liberal) claptrap which talks about “politics” with “religion” as an excuse to say that religion is just a power/control tool by the politician (and Constantine is one who is constantly given this treatment). And truth be told, many saints became Christian with politics in mind (St Vladimir is a prime example). We better not use the devil’s toolkit here.

                    • ManyMoreSpices

                      Thanks for everyone’s commentary. I’m not going to repeat what I said, but I’ll try to clarify it a bit:

                      If you asked me what I thought Obama’s religious beliefs were, my quick answer would be “Christian.”

                      If you asked me what type of Christian, I’d say “a member of one of those liberal Protestant denominations (not an Evangelical, Lutheran, or Anglican) that says ‘LGBTQ’ more often than ‘Christ our Lord.'”

                      But if you pressed me really, really hard and forced me to wager money on a correct guess about his engagement with religion was, I’d go with “functionally agnostic, as is typical of someone of his educational, personal, and political background.”

                      Now, Obama is one of the very few people whose faith I think about. I don’t even spend that much time on other politicians. It doesn’t concern me one bit what Hillary Clinton’s religious views are. (Methodist, I think, but that’s a guess based on a faint memory). It’s only that way with Obama because:

                      (1) His campaign beat us over the head with the message that he’s such a faithful Christian, and when people selling something to you insist so strongly about one of its features, it’s probably not all that true. McDonald’s feels the need to tell you how great its food is; no restaurant with a Michelin star does.

                      (2) In an unusual situation for Christians, we are being put on the spot by the secular world not to deny Christ, but to make a profession of Obama’s faith. The media considers it very, very important that everyone know that Obama is (i) not a Muslim, and (ii) definitely a Christian. While there is no evidence that Obama is a Muslim, I feel no need to defend his purported Christian faith, and it is unacceptable for the Palace Guard Media to demand rebukes from Republicans of people who say that he’s not a Christian. You guys really want to talk about Obama’s faith? Okay, let’s talk about Obama’s faith. I’m content to shut up about it, but if you want to study it, I can do that.

                  • Joseph

                    Seriously, you aren’t even granting Obama the right to call himself a Christian. That’s a Calvinist talking, not a Catholic. Leave it as he’s a Christian who fails to act like one, but don’t unreasonably condemn him. I’m no defender of Obama, by the way. I just can’t stand the judgemental nature of Calvinism. You have to hate someone to essentially accuse them of being an impostor (when you have no authority to).
                    Before I converted to Catholicism, I asked a Franciscan monk if Hitler was in hell. He said, “For his sake, I hope not”. And continued, “The Church makes declarations on who is in Heaven, but never makes declarations on who is in Hell… it’s not something we look for or hope for.”
                    Yeah, that was refreshing coming from a Reformed Evangelical background where the condescending “bless his soul” culture exists.

                    • ManyMoreSpices

                      Your convert’s zeal is duly noted. Can you dial it down a bit, at least with the rhetoric?

                      You have to hate someone to essentially accuse them of being an impostor (when you have no authority to).

                      I have the authority to judge what I do with my vote and my political support. As I said in #1, when the statement is “I’m a Christian,” my response is “okay, you’re a Christian.” When the statement is “vote for me, for I am a Christian” or “support my policies, for I am a Christian,” I am entitled to exercise all the judgment that I reserve for anyone else making a sales pitch.

                    • Joseph

                      I converted about a decade ago. The *zeal* faded away a long time ago and I’ve settled down to just being normal. It’s not “zeal” to call a spade a spade… and you, ma’am, are speaking like a Calvinist. With that, there is no more need to engage you on that particular topic. You’ve provided enough evidence of my assertion in your own comments.

                    • ManyMoreSpices

                      Going around lobbing accusations of “hate” against fellow Catholics is pretty zealous.

                    • Joseph

                      I take it back. You never said that Obama *wasn’t* a Christian.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      I think that ManyMoreSpices didn’t judge Obama’s christianity… he/she just said that we should exercise caution when a politician uses said christianity for political gain.

                      I think ManyMoreSpices is correct. If I’m a calvinist doing so, please tell me, for I must add that to the labels that people have put on me. 🙂

                    • Joseph

                      Just because it’s you, Alma, and I like you, I went back and read what MMS stated. I was wrong, MMS never said that Obama *wasn’t* a Christian. I take it back… but only because it was you who set me right. 🙂

                    • HornOrSilk

                      “Having said all that, if you press me on whether I think he actually believes the stuff he’s saying about his Christian faith, well… no.” MMS — that’s basically denying Obama having Christian faith.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      ManyMoreSpices said:
                      “Obama’s public acts contrary to the teachings of the Church don’t diminish my belief that he is a Christian.”

                      That’s basically saying that Obama is a christian.

                      So if there are conflicting views on the same comment, maybe we should ask MMS to clarify and until then take the most charitable view.

                      I think. 😛

                      For my part, I think that what MMS was trying to say is that Obama is a christian, but that he is a lukewarm christian that doesn’t much care about his faith and so, we should be wary when he uses his faith on political speeches, for he most likely doesn’t believe what he’s saying (note: he doesn’t believe what he’s saying, not that he doesn’t believe in Christianity in general)

                    • HornOrSilk

                      He’s saying he doesn’t BELIEVE Obama believes, hence, not really a Christian. That was #3. Which was the full story — the others are “if he believes” but MMS is claiming Obama doesn’t so, in the end, not Christian. It’s just typical spin.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      Thank you for you kinds words, though undeserved they are.

                  • Dan13

                    Technically, Biden is a sinner not a dissenter. Like Mario Cuomo, he agrees that life begins at conception:


            • Joseph

              You mean… an Reformed Evangelical who are oft to say, ‘that person is *not* a Christian’ because they don’t appear to be as Christian as they are (because they, themselves, set the bar for the bare minimum requirements of a Christian who is going to heaven).
              Yeah, personally, I don’t like Obama… mainly because of his policies and because he obviously likes to ride the Catholic Church more than any other religious group. But, guess what, lots of Christians do that… many of whom are on the other side of the aisle. Take for instance Cruz who through implication of his actions believes that the Catholic “Christians” (yeah, Briebart put it in scare quotes for the happy Calvinists) in the Middle East deserve what they are getting because they *don’t stand with Israel* like a good Hageeite would (and an extremely ignorant fool).
              So, if you believe that how Christians are treated by someone is an indication of how *Christian* they actually are, then you’d better be willing to follow through and accuse the vast majority of Republicans on the way… and condemn them to hell like a good Calvinist.
              “Gosh, dernit, Jimmy Bob, they were never Christian to begin with” — average Calvinist.
              No defense of Obama here, more like a defense of everyone who falls into the same bucket.

              • HornOrSilk

                Right, I’m not saying anything about the quality of the Christian he is. I am just saying it goes too far to say he is secret non-christian pretending to be one for politics. It’s the kind of thing I hear all the time for anyone, right or left, by opponents who don’t like them. Heard some claim it for Davis, for example…

                • Joseph

                  My fault for bad grammar and sentence structure… I didn’t mean *you* as in *you*. I meant *you* as in his accusers, of which you clearly are not. Sorry for the confusion. I’m actually in agreement with you (as in *you*)… which is not always the case. LOL.

                • I am reminded of the Christian YA novel “An Accidental Abduction” I read a while back. The unnamed but heavily implied to be Obama president not only was described as only pretending to be Christian for political purposes, but refused to help a teenage girl kidnapped by terrorists because her father (an evangelical) probably didn’t vote for him in the last election.

          • Andy

            In other words you think he isa typical politician – say what a group wants to hear to get elected?

            • Ken

              He’s probably as Christian as a lot of people. They pick and choose things they like and occasionally attend church.

              • Andy

                My feeling exactly!

            • Joseph

              So pretty much like all of the Christians in government? Say it ain’t so. 😉

              • Andy

                I don’t know about all persons claiming to be Christian, but I suspect a large chunk fall into that category.

        • AnneG

          Several of his speeches before he was baptized, back in his community organizer days. Said he hadn’t been baptized but might as well, since it would make his organizing work easier.
          Numerous other statements. He also has a distinct preference for Islamic culture.

          • HornOrSilk

            So before he was baptized… should I start quoting you when you were a child next?

            And taking quotes out of context from birther/right-wing sources doesn’t help. However, his talk about the death and resurrection of Jesus being central to everything made Rush upset. IS Rush agnostic? Should I start playing that card? Seriously – get a grip.


            Rush was upset that Obama thought everything is in perspective of Easter. A Christian thinks that. Rush didn’t… hmmm

      • Alma Peregrina

        “He said he did it for political reasons.”

        Could you please provide me a source for this?

        • HornOrSilk

 probably 😛

          • AnneG

            Of course not. I know the laws about citizenship, having worked in that area. Please do not make slanderous accusations.

            • HornOrSilk

              Says someone making up stories… while my comment was clear sarcasm (as can be seen with the fact that there is no website).

              • sean

                yes, i believe so..

    • Joseph

      Well, you’re right in the sense that he wouldn’t invite Salman Rushdie to meet the King of Saudi Arabia. So there is a clear double standard going on. Like I said, he obviously has a place filled with hate nestled in his heart for the Catholic Church.

    • Will is an atheist. Nothing he says is a reflection of conservative Catholics. Or are you a Will truther like Mark seems to be?

      Edit: this was unfair and uncharitable to Mark as I misread him as thinking Will was Catholic. It remains an interesting question whether Will’s conservatism that motivated his column or his atheism.

      • Alma Peregrina

        Yes, I am a Will Truther, because I like the sound of it. It has a nice ring to it. If it were more similar to Will Turner, I would be a brave pirate adventurer, played by Orlando Bloom, that would get a hottie like Keyra Knightley. 😀

        Now seriously, no. I didn’t know that Will wasn’t a catholic. For the very reason that I didn’t know who Will was before. I don’t know every single persona from american politics, so I take you guy’s word for it.

        For example, if I told you that José Manuel Pureza is a portuguese communist that self-proclaims as a catholic and uses said catholicism to win votes, would you doubt a piece of political commentary I wrote about him? Just because I’m not a communist? Or because you don’t know him?

        So Will is an atheist. OK, I’ll recant everything I said that implied that he was a catholic. However, Will’s catholicism is a little irrelevant to what I was trying to convey in my comment. Will did indeed speak as a true catholic in that quote. And, if Will is not a catholic, there are other right-wingers that have that True Catholics (TM) syndrome (at least in my country there are). And I think you don’t object to anything I said about Obama or Pelosi. Since those were the points that were pivotal to my comment, I’ll let it stand.

        • Actually, in those cases I cut and paste the unknown name and read their wikipedia page because I don’t want to let my brain rot as I go through middle age. If that page is not clear (and José Manuel Pureza’s isn’t) I’ll check their associations off that page. He may or may not be a communist but he shilled for one in one of Portugal’s recent presidential elections. One degree of separation from the fourth international makes him a coin flip communist/useful idiot.

          On a tangentially related note, God bless the creators/maintainers of Google translate. I’d be a lot more ignorant if that code didn’t exist.

          More to the point, the hate against the Catholic right that is behaving intemperately with Pope Francis is covering for some pretty obvious sins of formation that really should be attended to. These problems of teaching the faith in the US are actually much more important than any poor treatment of Pope Francis because they predate his papacy and will be stumbling blocks on the road to Christ long after Pope Francis is replaced by another. But Mark’s burying the lede here because fixing the actual underlying problem isn’t sexy and doesn’t let you call names. It only would lead to greater peace in the Church and a general reduction in anti-catholicism in the US because the error that these right wing Catholics are making is much more common in the general culture.

          • Alma Peregrina

            That Pureza is a communist is pretty well-established. But his religion doesn’t come across in most sites about him.

            You gotta be a portuguese catholic to know that this guy’s career started precisely because the extreme left-wing party he militates in needed someone to say in the portuguese referendum for abortion: “Hey guys, I’m a catholic and I vote for abortion. You guys can be catholics too and still vote for abortion. It is we who decide what a catholic can or can’t do, not those pesky bishops, who do they think they are?”

            But I gotta admit that I have more access to information regarding american politicians than you have about portuguese politicians. I was just pointing out that someone from the outside tends to trust insiders about these things. But you’re right that I should’ve checked.

            • FYI: here’s the man’s wikipedia page.


              Feel free to make the page more complete but be ready for push back. A friend and I spent months beating the Alger Hiss page into something resembling the truth instead of the communist agitprop I first found it in.

              • Joseph

                Which is precisely why wikipedia cannot be trusted as canon.

                • Wikipedia’s job is not to create a canon so, yeah, it doesn’t do that reliably. It creates a repository of information that you can use as a launching pad for further research pretty well though.

  • AnneG

    Mark, there are Muslims in Honduras.
    Card Rodriguez Maradiaga should talk to his oligarch buddies before he goes preaching to the U.S. About allowing people to uproot and move. They should have freedom from corruption and opportunity in their homeland. And, no, the U.S. Is not responsible for their problems.

    • HornOrSilk

      We just have decades of messing up the region, helping train terrorists and give them weapons, and then take no responsibility for our actions? GIVE ME A BREAK.

      • Joseph

        Look out! You’re about to be called a conspiracy theorist by the American Nationalist Party.

        • No, he’s at worst being uncharitable, not a conspiracist. There’s a lot more to US policy in latin america than supporting corrupt regimes but we definitely did do it. Nobody really knowledgeable about the policy denies that this was a feature of our politics down there but the more charitable note other aspects as well.

      • AnneG

        We are not as effective in messing up the region as you imagine. Their level of corruption makes sure of that. Have you eve even been to Central America?

        • HornOrSilk

          School of Americas.. yes, we are doing a LOT.. and have been for a long time. Priests and nuns killed thanks to American policy.

          • Joseph

            Ho, ho, ho… let’s see if TM accuses you of being a conspiracy theorist now… now we’re getting to the meat of things. Gotta watch out, when someone points out to the American Nationalist Party that American policies consistently result in the death of Christians (especially Catholics), their heads explode and the only thing they have left to fall back on is to shout ‘Conspiracy Theorist! Burden of Proof… and by Burden of Proof I mean using only sources that I agree with!’.

        • Horn’s right. The CIA and School of Americas have certainly helped keep that corruption afloat over the last 50 years. The US does bear some responsibility.

          • This is fair. It’s time to move beyond the anti-communist holding action we used to do down there and into a period of US engagement that views corruption much more negatively. Pope Francis provides an opportunity to launch that engagement. His political statements are sometimes less than helpful on the subject.

    • Willard

      Honduras is a right wing paradise with taxes and government spending so low even a tea partier would be jealous. Of course, as Pope Francis has taught, trickle-down economics has never been shown to work anywhere and Honduras is just one more example of that.

      • Honduras’ most recent election featured four major candidates, two of them left wing. Had they not split the left vote between them, the left would have won the election. I’m not entirely certain what you mean by a right wing paradise as I haven’t studied their politics enough even to ask proper questions but my small fact check tells me not to draw any conclusions from your post.

  • ManyMoreSpices

    Odd to use George Will, atheist, in support of the idea that Catholic dislike of Pope Francis is widespread.

    So in case you’re keeping score at home…

    Obama is hostile to the Church? Ho-hum: “Obama is, I think, rather obviously anti-Catholic and hostile to the Church on a number of points. Duly noted.” Ho-hum.

    George Will is hostile to the Church? Those conservatives are crazy and awful: “George Will loses his mind and announces his conversion to the Know Nothings.”

    Distaste for all things conservative has overtaken rational analysis here. Again.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      In all honesty, while he supports infanticide and an ungodly foriegn policy, Obama has never said believing Catholics lie beyond the American pale.

      George Will, if accurately quoted, did. George Will disseminated the key tenets if know-nothingism as his own belief.

      Maybe instead of getting butthurt over uncomfortable truths, you might consider the company you keep?

      • Joseph


      • ManyMoreSpices

        In all honesty, while he supports infanticide and an ungodly foriegn policy, Obama has never said believing Catholics lie beyond the American pale.

        No, Obama would never suggest that those who followed the Church’s teachings on, say, marriage, were un-American. No sir.

        • Joseph

          For the record, I know that Obama has implied that Catholics that follow the Church’s teachings on those issues were un-American, and thus, lay beyond the American pale.
          When I said ‘Baddabing!’, that was with reference to this question ‘Maybe instead of getting butthurt over uncomfortable truths, you might consider the company you keep?’

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            But he actually didn’t single out Catholics, and we aren’t nearly the only people refusing to knucle under to his queer delusions.

            • Joseph

              Yes he did. Implications are important when the words are coming from the mouth of a clearly passive aggressive child. He thinks he’s clever, but if you’ve ever dealt with a passive aggressive person (and Obama’s character matches that to perfection), then you *know* where his comments are directed. Please, spare me your naivety.

              • Joseph

                Evidence of his passive aggressive behaviour is who he included in the list of guests at the White House to meet and greet the Pope. Seriously, get a grip.

                • Hezekiah Garrett

                  Put down the bottle for a second, Mickey, its affecting your synapses.

              • Hezekiah Garrett

                And spare me your judgments of Obama’s heart. Do I suspect he’d have us fighting to the death in Yankee stadium if he had the political capital? Sure, probably. Did he directly and forthrightly single out Catholics? No, his fecklessness made that untenable.

                And spare me your armchair psychology.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          In other words, like most politicians in America today, he decries any who disagree with him politically to be unAmerican

          Nope, that’s not knownothingism.

          Of course, its beneath me to imply that your confusion on this results from inebriation or intoxication. Decent folks don’t act that way.

          • ManyMoreSpices

            I know you’re busy coming up with clever insults, but if you have a moment, would you be so kind as to address what I said about the compatibility of the “premises” of America with the Catechism?

            Because what you call “knownothingism” I call “recognition that not all American values align with the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.”

      • ManyMoreSpices

        As for Will… is it your position that all of the “premises” of America are compatible with all the teachings of the Church?

        If so, Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII would like to have a word with you.

      • AnneG

        President Obama also favors abrogating faith exemptions for abortion and contraception as well as SSM.
        Will is agnostic or atheist. So what?

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          Obama’s a terrible president, even worse than the last one. George Will is Wally Cox with a typewriter.

          Did you have a point?

  • CradleRevert

    I don’t think your first paragraph is fair, Mark. I know not a thing about Congressman Paul Gosar’s views, but it’s clear from that article that he would prefer that Pope Francis would address of myriad of far more pressing issues (not just an advocacy of war as you insinuate), including the moral decadence of the West. While I also don’t agree with his decision to boycott the speech, it’s poor form to misstate his views for doing so.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    It says a lot that the Pope’s message of “serving people, not ideas” needs to be equally applied to the Cuban communist regime and the American two party regimes.

    • Joseph


  • The US Congress has been long overdue for a can of Papal kickbutt for a long time now. I’m actively looking forward to Francis making both major political parties squirm in their seats when he sets the record straight.

    It’s unsurprising that Fox News is trying to run interference now- they can’t have their conservative catholic watchers doubting their message when it disagrees with Francis’ teachings, now can they?

    • Joseph

      I certainly hope he makes them both uncomfortable. As a man of the people, he knows that politicians, especially American ones, are no friends of Christ. By lambasting both sides of the aisle (albeit in a subtle way), it will give strength to us proles who are the subjects of those masters. They all deserve to be humiliated for their deeds and their words, for what they have done and what they have failed to do.

  • There are 9 Republican Catholics in the Senate and 69 Republican Catholics in the House. 1 of them is boycotting Pope Francis or 1.3% of the Catholic Republican delegation. This makes the GOP the party of crazy and a bunch of haters.

    Well, somebody’s certainly a hater who paints with a broad brush.

    The proper response for a cleric writing about something he is ignorant of, if that ignorance is not theological, is to extract the sound theology and pair it with what you know of the secular field which the cleric is ignorant of. Given that Pope Francis himself has publicly admitted ignorance of economic matters Congressman Paul Gosar should have done that instead of grandstanding with a public boycott. He made a mistake. Hopefully his priest will help him to a better understanding of the faith.

    George Will, fairly predictably, misunderstands Catholic theology but he’s fairly spot on regarding the secular issues. Since he’s an atheist, he’s made a more minor error than Congressman Gosar, who should have been taught better.

    As for the english/spanish thing, if Pope Francis is incapable, he’s incapable. There’s nothing to discuss. But he isn’t completely incapable as apparently some of his speeches will be in english. This gets into murkier waters and a legitimate Church controversy of long standing. The Western Church picked universality in language (latin) to make a point. The Eastern Church picked the local vernacular also to make a point that the people should understand the Word being preached. That the Pope will predominantly speak in spanish, a minority language, and a language that a growing number of US latinos do not speak at home (40% of US born latinos). It is impossible for the Vatican not to know this. So what is he trying to say and is he being properly respectful to his hosts? Or is he making a venture into politics?

    I would say that my own bishop gets it right when he does the service in romanian (I’ve tended towards immigrant heavy parishes over the years) but shifts to english for the sermon. He explains that his romanian is simply not up to the task. If the Pope does something similar, this issue will go away with all people of good will.

    I think you were unfair to Chris Wallace who was the guest on that program and therefore not in control of the conversation. He mocked Kilmeade about as much as a guest can without risking retribution. He was a pro. As for Kilmeade, there’s another Catholic who was poorly served by whoever was responsible for his religious formation and on the exact same issue.

    It is flat out wrong, though not religiously wrong, to excuse President Obama’s behavior. It is the job of the head of state to welcome or insult in service of the nation. It’s part of the job description. Does Obama’s insult serve the interests of the United States of America? I do not think so. On that basis, this is a bad move which speaks poorly of President Obama and the entire staff that we the people employ to get this issue right. It is an abrogation of the duties of citizenship to excuse Obama from his presidential duty merely because he is not a Catholic.

  • ivan_the_mad

    Indeed. The GOP cloaks itself in religion and parades as the conservator of traditional morality. Yet when it cannot make its usual facile claim that Peter’s message buttresses its own, how quickly it doffs the cloak and scorns both Peter and his flock. It is a veritable scandal that in the midst of that scorn may be heard the bleating of some of that very flock! Literally egregious.

    Kirk notes that Burke held in grave respect the pagan religions of India and so detested Hastings’ treatment of the same, for (and take note, GOP) he “could not conceive of a durable social order without the spirit of piety”.

    In a manner similar to the atheist who merely substitutes deity for Deity, the impious spirit does not simply refuse to reverence God, but instead reverences false gods such as Mammon and Moloch. A serious and sound conservatism heeds religion and tradition.

    • Joseph

      Exactly. Though the religion that the GOP cloaks itself with is never the Catholic religion. It’s pretty much a WASP religion, that only pretends to tolerate Catholicism so long as Catholicism avoid addressing some of the issues surrounding their Holy Doctrine of Capitalism and the prophet Ayn Rand. Once they notice Catholic eyes peering under the cloak, she’s back to becoming the Whore of Babylon.

  • johnnysc

    “He sees Francis from a purely secular view as a head of state who needs to change his archaic beliefs. It’s what non-Catholics do.”

    And what liberal ‘catholics’ who place more importance on their political ideology than on the teachings of Jesus do.

    The 40 Days For Life begin this week. It would be nice to hear the Holy Father scold the American government for it’s complicity in the evil of abortion and the redefinition of marriage as support for those on the front lines.

    • To be fair, I’ve meet plenty of conservative ‘catholics’ who blatantly ignore the church teaching when it disagrees with their ideology as well.
      I hope Francis scolds both parties; Democrats and Republicans over life issues alike.

  • Dan13

    Ok, I don’t understand the conservative Catholic “love” for George Will.

    The man is a conservative atheist, which means he believes Christianity is false but thinks that the Church should exist in order to keep the poor people in line. Quite frankly, I prefer our New Atheist friends who at least have integrity and are true to their beliefs. Men like Will are the epitome of Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquistor–more or less corrupt and evil.

    People like Richard Dawkins at least have the excuse of being true to their beliefs and showing, in a flawed sense, honesty (and in a weird way, one could argue that the New Atheists’ obsession with truth is following God). George Will, on the other hand, is absolutely evil in that he sees religion as a “noble lie” to make sure that we proles behave. That is why he is perfectly fine with twisting Christianity to serve his god–the golden calf.

    • Daniel G. Fink

      Sometimes I anticipate hearing or reading Will’s viewpoint (when I sense he will agree with me, of course), such as his addressing judicial activism, or peeling away metaphors that attempt to cover for abortion. His latest op-ed, however, is as insulting as his adjective for the Church’s outreach to disaffected Anglican’s…i.e., Catholic “poaching”.

      As for the New Atheists, you may want to consider Ed Feser’s opinion, as he has been on the front lines versus the “Four Horsemen”…

      • Dan13

        I don’t agree with the New Atheists at all and believe they are mistaken (since I am a Catholic and all). But I believe that they legitimately believe in what they say. I have a certain respect for them over the conversative atheist who promotes what he considers to be “noble lies”.

  • Petee

    “as the Muslims from Honduras”

    < : D

  • jackryan

    same old name calling. bullying. you’re a jerk.

    • chezami

      You seem to have an irony deficiency. Better have that looked at.