Thursday, March 27, 2014
Speculation on the Papal visit – Obama Visit to Pope Francis – Outreach for Catholic Voters – the Politics of Religion.
Image from hprweb.com - article on Pope Francis worth the read
From Yahoo News , the article entitled: “Obama meets Pope Francis, looks for Catholic boost”, an AFP piece, suggests that the President is meeting with Pope Francis for political purposes – the Pope, as the article points out, is extremely popular in the United States, and further, the article suggests, both men may find common ground based on their fight against inequality.
That said, the Pope is a Jesuit, and although they embrace education, knowledge and a penchant for all things humble, they are also a religious order established by a devout Spanish nobleman turned priest. To learn more about the Jesuit society visit www.jesuits.org. In a Catholic world, with its various orders, the Jesuits are considered by laypersons as the most devout and strict of the orders. This may be due to their strict adherence to defending both the teachings of Jesus as well as the Pope. Although many have read much into statements made by Francis, his meaning was clear – in order to convert, one must accept the sinner, only then will one be able to communicate with that individual.
In this mind, it is a meeting which gives the head of the Vatican State, as well as the Head of the Catholic Church an opportunity to convert another head of state. With the mandates from the Affordable Health care forcing religious organizations to pay for contraceptives and abortions, to the export of funds to perform abortions worldwide by the administration, one might think there will, indeed, be a meeting of the minds Never mind any perceived or real aggression (in word and or deed) that the President has committed. One can expect glowing reports and carefully conceived photographs, as the kindness prevalent in the Order will show as it should, harmony. However, it will, by no means, be an endorsement of character, rather a hope that certain practices may be given a second look, and stopped cold.
Although very popular here in the U.S., it is doubtful with the conditions of the nation, that the Pope’s blessing of the President, would do nothing more than offer a short-lived bounce – certainly not enough to save the Senate nor the Congress in 2014. These institutions are, at the moment, for the GOP to lose. What is most galling to those of us who understand that the Constitution guarantees Freedom of Religion rather than Freedom from Religion, it galls to find elected officials pandering to certain demographics by professing to be Catholics, yet, supporting grievous practices abhorrent to the very faith. It is, however, in the Universal Christian doctrine, between those who practice abominations, and God. However, it is exceedingly clear that will also apply to those who knowingly put into a political office, someone whose actions and beliefs run contrary to this doctrine. This from a religious and political perspective – religion and politics are odd bedfellows indeed.