Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Headline reads: Pope says Communists are Christians.
Well, maybe. Hard to tell what he actually said, much less meant, from such a brief article. But if the article is accurate, I’d suggest the Holy Father is confused.
Christ lived in an era when there was no welfare so life was Root Hog, or Die. That system forced every man to focus on building and preserving wealth for himself and his loved ones (family, tribe). And that relentless focus on gathering wealth made some people selfish, miserly, stingy, greedy, covetous. Those are not endearing qualities.
Christ’s message of giving was not a call for government redistribution, but a call for individuals to voluntarily donate. Paying your taxes to Caesar requires no inner contemplation, no step back to look at your life, no reassessment of what’s important, no thankfulness for what you have, no gratitude for what God has blessed you with. Instead, paying taxes to be redistributed fosters resentment that the ants toil while the grasshoppers play – and the grasshoppers get rewarded for indolence while the ants get punished for thrift.
Communism is not Christian, they are polar opposites looking toward the same middle. We all want to eliminate poverty. The question is how. The answer is voluntarily. Nothing else works.
People ask me why I don’t convert to Catholicism.
Liturgical matters aside, the presence of a leader and bureaucracy that can use religion to push hogwash like Francis and his inner circle have been pushing is a big part of it.