Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Nov/16

26

Castro: The Pope and the Dictator

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pope-francis-and-fidel-castroTo Pope Francis, Castro’s death was “sad” news, kind words indeed from someone who the former dictator would once have described as “social scum”.

Meanwhile, just two or three weeks ago the pontiff was being quoted favorably on Telesur (a TV network funded by the governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia and, disappointingly in such company, Uruguay):

Asked [during an interview with the press ] if his pursuit and support for a more egalitarian society meant he envisioned a “Marxist type of society,” the pontiff said in response, “If anything, it is the communists who think like Christians…Christ spoke of a society where the poor, the weak and the marginalized have the right to decide. Not demagogues, not Barabbas, but the people, the poor, whether they have faith in a transcendent God or not. It is they who must help to achieve equality and freedom.”

Francis is not a communist (his ideology is better seen as a blend of left-Peronism and ‘a Catholicism of the people’, two strains of thought that themselves overlap). Nevertheless, to say that that description represents a very benign interpretation of what communism really is, is to put things very mildly indeed.

Then again, Francis’ line of argument is not so different from what Dorothy Day (1897-1980), the leftist Roman Catholic writer and activist possibly now headed for canonization, deployed in the Catholic Worker in July/August 1962:

We are on the side of the [Cuban] revolution. We believe there must be new concepts of property, which is proper to man, and that the new concept is not so new. There is a Christian communism and a Christian capitalism. We believe in farming communes and cooperatives and will be happy to see how they work out in Cuba. God bless Castro and all those who are seeing Christ in the poor. God bless all those who are seeking the brotherhood of man because in loving their brothers they love God even though they deny Him.

And Pope Francis, of course, is something of a Dorothy Day fan. Praised for her “passion for justice”, Day was one of “four representatives of the American people”, singled out by the Pope during the course of his speech to Congress in 2015.

Meanwhile from Forbes earlier this year:

The Obama administration has continued its effort to expand contact between the U.S. and Cuba by easing restrictions on travel, exports, and export financing. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker spoke of “building a more open and mutually beneficial relationship.”

However, the administration expressed concern over Havana’s dismal human rights practices. Although Raul Castro’s government has continued economic reforms, it has maintained the Communist Party’s political stranglehold. Indeed, despite the warm reception given Pope Francis last fall, the regime has been on the attack against Cubans of faith.

In a new report the group Christian Solidarity Worldwide warned of “an unprecedented crackdown on churches across the denominational spectrum,” which has “fueled a spike in reported violations of freedom of religion or belief.” There were 220 specific violations of religious liberties in 2014, but 2300 last year, many of which “involved entire churches or, in the cases of arrests, dozens of victims.” In contrast, there were only 40 cases in 2011…..

Sad times, indeed.

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1 comment

  • Steel T Post · November 28, 2016 at 4:14 am

    Hardly surprising. Ludwig von Mises, in his text entitled Socialism, wrote that “Christianity is Bolshevism.” It appears the Austrian economist knew his history of the church and teachings of its dear leader well.

    (1.) Bolshevists despise the successful:

    • “But woe unto you that are rich!” Luke 6:24
    • “Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor.” Matthew 19:21, Mark 10:21, Luke 18:22
    • “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24, Mark 10:25, Luke 18:25
    “…guard against all kinds of greed, life does not consist in abundance…fool…” (Parable of the Rich Fool) Luke 12:13-21
    • “There was a rich man…in torment…agony…remember that in your lifetime you received your good things…” (The Rich Man and Lazarus) Luke 16:19-31

    (2.) Bolshevists are collectivists:

    • “…each according to his ability.” Matthew 25:15
    • “…not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.” Acts 4:32
    • “…and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.” Acts 4:35
    • “…the daily distribution.” Acts 6:1
    • “…your liberal distribution…” 2 Corinthians 9:13

    Apologists falsely claim the Church’s Communism was “voluntary,” even though it was as coercive as Stalin’s utopia, with church leaders terrorizing the dupes with “great fear” generated by the double murder of Ananias and Sapphira for their money. (Acts 5:11)

    Apologists will also desperately trot out 2 Thessalonians 3:10 “If a man will not work, he shall not eat,” as if every work camp in Stalin’s gulags didn’t have that exact same rule.

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