Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pope Francis raises hackles - but he was right!

Pope Francis delivered some off-the-cuff remarks to youth in Turin on June 21 that have caused some people who like to react negatively to him to react negatively. Again.

The focus of their disgruntled reaction were comments about arms manufacturers and the issue of the allies not doing what they might have been able to do to reduce or even halt the massacre of the Armenians or the Holocaust.

Here's Zenit's translation of the offending section: 

It makes me think one thing: people, leaders, entrepreneurs that call themselves Christians, and produce arms! This gives some mistrust: they call themselves Christians! “No, no, Father, I don’t produce them, no, no .... I only have my savings, my investments in arms factories.” Ah! And why? “Because the interest is somewhat higher ...” And a double face is also a current coin today: to say something and do another. Hypocrisy ...l But let’s see what happened in the last century: in ’14, ’15, in ’15 in fact. There was that great tragedy in Armenia. So many died. I don’t know the figure: more than a million certainly. But where were the great powers of the time? Were they looking elsewhere? Why? Because they were interested in war: their war! And those that died were persons, second class human beings. Then, in the 30s and 40s the tragedy of the Shoah. The great powers had photographs of the railroad lines that took trains to the concentration camps, such as Auschwitz, to kill the Jews, and also Christians, also the Roma, also homosexuals, to kill them there. But tell me, why didn’t they bomb that? Interest! And shortly after, almost contemporaneously, were the lager in Russia: Stalin ... How many Christians suffered, were killed! The great powers divided Europe among themselves as a cake. So many years had to pass before arriving at “certain” freedom. It’s that hypocrisy of speaking of peace and producing arms, and even selling arms to this one who is at war with that one, and to that one who is at war with this one!

I understand what you say about mistrust in life, also today when we are living in the throwaway culture, because whatever is not of economic usefulness is discarded. Children are disposed of, because they are not developed or because they are killed before they are born; the elderly are disposed of, because they are not useful or are left there, to die, a sort of hidden euthanasia, and they are not helped to live; and now young people are disposed of: think of that 40% of young people who are without work. It is in fact a rejection! But why? Why are man and woman not at the center of the global economic system, as God wants, but the god of money. And everything is done for money.

He's right. He's raising legitimate questions. Too often our policies and actions are ruled by national interest and profit rather than what is right. We see that with abortion and war, certainly, but also in so many other areas. Think of the tobacco companies, drug companies, pornographers, the entertainment industry, tanning salons - I could go on and on. I think we will all be called to account for how we made our money, and how we invested it.

"And everything is done for money."

Pax et bonum

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