From the Pope, another guide to clear thinking and moral perspicacity

A few highlights from the MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS ON THE OCCASION OF THE WORLD MEETINGS OF POPULAR MOVEMENTS IN MODESTO (CALIFORNIA) [16-18 FEBRUARY 2017] (10 FEBRUARY 2017):

I would also like to highlight the work done by the PICO National Network and the organizations promoting this meeting. I learned that PICO stands for “People Improving Communities through Organizing”. What a great synthesis of the mission of popular movements: to work locally, side by side with your neighbors, organizing among yourselves, to make your communities thrive.

Okay, so Obama was on the right track after all.

We know that none of these ills began yesterday. For some time, the crisis of the prevailing paradigm has confronted us. I am speaking of a system that causes enormous suffering to the human family, simultaneously assaulting people’s dignity and our Common Home in order to sustain the invisible tyranny of money that only guarantees the privileges of a few. “In our time humanity is experiencing a turning-point in its history.”[2]

Questions:
[1.] What “ills”?
[2.] What is the “prevailing paradigm”?
[3.] What “system” are you speaking of?
[4.] Is our “Common Home” the planet earth?
[5.] Where, exactly, in our Common Home has the “invisible tyranny of money” set up shop?
[6.] How does money – a species of unthinking material stuff – know how to do this?
[7.] If the tyranny is invisible, how do you, the Pope, know that it exists?
[8.] Does the “turning-point” mean that Christ is coming? Again?

As Christians and all people of good will, it is for us to live and act at this moment. It is “a grave responsibility, since certain present realities, unless effectively dealt with, are capable of setting off processes of dehumanization which would then be hard to reverse.”[3] These are signs of the times that we need to recognize in order to act. We have lost valuable time: time when we did not pay enough attention to these processes, time when we did not resolve these destructive realities.

Similar questions: 1. What are the “certain present realities”? 2. What “signs of the times” do you see? 3. What are “these processes” to which we have not been paying attention? 4. Are the “destructive realities” the same as the “certain present” ones?

The economic system that has the god of money at its center, and that sometimes acts with the brutality of the robbers in the parable, inflicts injuries that to a criminal degree have remained neglected.

Which economic system is this? The one in Cuba? North Korea?

I know that you have committed yourselves to fight for social justice, to defend our Sister Mother Earth and to stand alongside migrants. I want to reaffirm your choice and share two reflections in this regard…

You are fond of cramming two unrelated subjects into a single sentence.

…First, the ecological crisis is real. “A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system.”[6]

Why would anyone question this?

…and I feel is important to say it again: no people is criminal and no religion is terrorist. Christian terrorism does not exist, Jewish terrorism does not exist, and Muslim terrorism does not exist. They do not exist. No people is criminal or drug-trafficking or violent. “The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence yet, without equal opportunities, the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and will eventually explode.”[7]

Yes, you have said this before. On the religion stuff, especially as regards terrorism, we will just have to agree to disagree, especially disagree, since, as I have pointed out in previous posts, you seem not to have read one word of any history explicating the confrontations of Islam with other cultures. But I think I get the poverty stuff. Poor people are not inherently criminal or violent, except when they are, but only because the Poverty Devil made them do it. Jesus died to save us from “these processes,” “these destructive realities,” this “economic system that has the god of money at its center.”

In the entire address, not a word about saving the souls of individual sinners. There are footnotes scattered throughout, which means that he’s quoting a document. He mostly quotes himself. You can read the whole mesmerizing address here.


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