WASHINGTON -- There is still more gibberish emitting from the pope as he travels to and from the Far East. Now he is safely home in the Vatican, so only his close advisers will hear the claptrap that comes from him as he tries to placate the Red Chinese and the Russians and, who knows, maybe he is even aiming his rhetoric toward North Korea and the Palestinians. He has kind words for anyone who is anti-American or anti-Western.
Recently, in Mongolia, he addressed a small group of Chinese Catholics. They had braved Chinese Communist censors to visit with the pope and see what was on his mind. Though according to The New York Times, they covered their faces “for fear of reprisal,” presumably from Communist intelligence officers who were keeping an eye on them while they visited Mongolia. Mongolia is a safe place for Chinese Catholics to visit. It contains only about 1,400 Catholics in a country roughly the size of Alaska, and how many of them could be Communist informers?
The pope had nothing but polite gibberish to utter about China. Said the heir to the Chair of Saint Peter, “The relations with China are very respectful -- I personally have great admiration for the Chinese culture. They are very open, let’s put it this way.” And he went on to say from his papal airplane, according to The Times, that “he hoped there would be more exposure to Roman Catholics in China so that the Chinese citizens did not think that the church had intentions to shape their culture and values or that it was ‘dependent on another power.’” What other power the pope had in mind I do not know. As I say, his message was gibberish.
The pope does have his bugaboos, however, though apparently China is not one of them, and even Russia is given a dispensation from the wrath of this pope. On the other hand, the “authoritarian” West rouses his hackles. The Times reports that the pope excoriates “what he considers the authoritarian streak of Western nationalists, the reactionary ideology of American conservatives in the church and the unchristian hardheartedness of leaders in Washington and Europe who don’t open their borders to migrants or act to protect the environment.” As for China, the pope is much more forgiving. China is the top carbon dioxide emitter in the world, responsible for more than 30% of the world’s greenhouse gases. While the United States contributes less than 15% of greenhouse gases, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The pope’s relations with the West have always been a mystery to me. Where does he think the funds to cover the day-to-day expenses of his vast array of churches and eleemosynary organizations comes from? The Chinese? The homeless? Oprah Winfrey? For that matter, how does the average donor manage to come up with donations for the church that keep it going? Most of it comes from free-market transactions, not from socialism.
Now let us change our focus a bit from politics to theology. Why is the pope kowtowing to the godless Chinese Communists? Did St. Paul bow to the Romans? For that matter, how many of the saints sniveled to the Romans as Pope Francis sniveled to the Red Chinese in his recent trips abroad? I can well imagine this hubristic pope dismissing sainthood as an old-fashioned contrivance from times gone by. So what is he going to replace sainthood with? Are his faithful followers going to follow him in joining yoga classes? How about modern dance?
Some people may say that I have written an unserious column, but the more I think of the pope, the more I am driven to the conclusion this is an unserious pope. He addresses the Chinese Communists as though they were not people contemplating war with Taiwan but planning war games. For that matter, he has not taken the war in Ukraine seriously. He has never held Vladimir Putin and his government accountable for the war in Ukraine, a war that has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians and Russians alike. Instead he parades around the world as though he were a welcome guest. Well, tell that to the people of Ukraine and for that matter the people of Russia. My guess is that both sides in this horrible war would tell him they have had enough.
Glory to Ukraine!