Posted 3 months ago on Dec. 27, 2013, 4:35 p.m. EST by BradB
from Washington, DC
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Republican Senator: Pope Francis “Entitled To His Opinion” But He’s Wrong
Pope Francis may be in his papal infancy, but people are already responding enthusiastically to his way of running things.
A recent poll puts Francis’ approval rating at an astonishing 88% of American Catholics. And it isn’t just Catholics who are being won over. His approval rating by American’s in general is around three in four. Those approval ratings stand in stark contrast to other public figures. Obama will close out 2013 with his lowest poll numbers ever. Congress will do the same. Pope Francis might be the only popular person left in the world. But like any popular public figure, he has his share of “haters” – in this case, from an unlikely source: Catholic republican lawmakers.
Francis has been placing Catholic republicans in an awkward position of having to defend their political ideology as it increasingly begins to conflict with their religious one. Guess which one they picked?
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) decided that the Pope didn’t know what capitalism was:
“The guy is from Argentina, they haven’t had real capitalism in Argentina. They have crony capitalism in Argentina. They don’t have a true free enterprise system.”
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) decided it was all just one big misunderstanding:
“He’s entitled to his opinion, but I think we should look carefully at what he’s saying,” Toomey said. “It’s easy to draw I think what could be mistaken, superficial conclusions from some of the things that he said. I think he’s a wonderful leader for the church.”
And Newt Gingrich (a Catholic convert) compared the Pope to Duck Dynasty, because why not?
“Ironically, if you read the whole interview, not just take one section, [Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson] talks very specifically about loving everybody. He talks very specifically about not being judgmental toward anybody, that’s God’s decision, not his. I mean, it is remarkable. There’s sections there where he sounds like Pope Francis.”
All of these justifications conveniently ignore the fact that, if looked at objectively, the pope is advocating some very progressive ideas.
Despite what Ryan thinks, Pope Francis knows enough about capitalism to write an 84-page document criticizing it. He also isn’t one to mince words. Toomey claims people are drawing the wrong conclusions about what he said about the dangers of capitalism, but this is pretty clear:
“As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems.”