If you were a peasant you could be forgiven if you said the Pope confuses you.
Yes, he seems like a nice man. He seems down to earth. But he sends mixed messages.
Not long ago he was in Cuba. Recently he visited Mexico. He spoke at a big rally at the border with the U.S. He spoke of the plight of the immigrants from the south. Those who flood across that border. He calls them victims.
He calls the Muslim immigrants who flood across the borders of Europe victims too. He calls the refugees from the wars of Africa victims. Well, he is right about that.
Here is what confuses. Does he praise the U.S. for taking in countless millions of illegals? And millions of legals? No. He criticizes the U.S. for its capitalism.
Does he rebuke Mexico for its wall-to-wall corruption? For its drug wars? Some. But mostly he loves to whack away at the evils of capitalism.
Does he rebuke the Castro brothers for imprisoning millions of Cubans for half a century? No. He rewards them with a visit. Does he urge them to free their political prisoners? The prisoners who got no trial? The prisoners who went to jail for simply criticizing the regime?
Does he chastise them for punishing women? Those who do nothing more than dress in white on Sundays to show they don’t like communism? Does he criticize the Castros for hoarding fortunes they stole from their people? For living in mansions? While their people live poor?
Does he call for free elections for Cubans? So that they could voice their opinions? Does he call for free travel for them?
No, he does not. He seems too busy instead railing against the evils of capitalism.
This is confusing for a few reasons. One is that if Cuba allowed for totally free travel half the people would be gone in a year. And where would they go? To that evil capitalism in the U.S. They know that Cubans in Miami live ten times better than Cubans in Cuba. Unless they belong to the communist elite in Cuba.
The Pope decries the plight of illegal immigrants from Latin America and Mexico. Who does he blame for their plight? Often he blames America and its evil capitalism.
So where do those immigrants want to go? To America and its evil capitalism.
Does the Pope see swarms of immigrants headed for socialist countries? Does he see them try to sneak into Venezuela?
The Pope has a lot of reasons to attack communism and extreme socialism. By extreme I mean enforced. As in Venezuela. Dictators and governments have resorted to these systems to plunder the wealth. And to punish the people. Whether they meant to or not, they did punish them. And they did deprive them of various liberties. And in some countries they butchered millions of people.
Meanwhile, he has a lot of reasons to praise various aspects of capitalism. No system has raised the standard of living of people more than capitalism. Witness India, China, South Korea and Taiwan. Compare life in those countries with life in Vietnam, North Korea, China and Laos. Compare dismal life in socialist Venezuela with bountiful life in capitalist Chile.
It would be nice if the Pontiff recognized some of the good of capitalism. Nice if he noticed that immigrants desperately seek the system he calls evil. Do they know something he doesn’t know?
He berates Trump for wanting to build a wall. But notice he does not open the gates of the Vatican to illegal immigrants. He does not berate Cuba for its virtual walls. Cuba is not taking in a few hundred thousand illegals. Not that anyone would want to move there. And Cuba has walled in its people for fifty years.
Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Church is one of the world’s biggest players in the capitalist system.
If you were a peasant, all these contradictions might confuse you.
From Tom...as in Morgan.