The Pope Speaks to Congress – Crisis Magazine

Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us. Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this.

Source: The Pope Speaks to Congress – Crisis Magazine

Quite worth reading. I can see a lot of folks reading in what they want to hear– or what they fear– but it’s notably lacking in specific prudential choices. That is, it says what principles we must apply, but not HOW.

Because the language of compassion has been so hijacked, and he was talking in a political setting, it sounds like the liberals pulling there “be loving– do exactly what I think is right” shtick.
But it doesn’t actually say that. He might think he has enough information to give specific guidance…but he didn’t do it, he just gave the principles to apply. (I don’t think that being a release valve for the horrific Mexican situation is very good for Mexico or the people who can’t flee, for example, even though the second-hand ‘interpretations’ I’d been hearing about the Pope’s speech took exactly that to be true.)

Notice the change between what I quote, and a short distance down where he talks about what he believes. Notice the lack of “and you’ve got to do it, too” type language that’s in the listing of principles.

Read the part about a cycle of poverty– does that not sound like every reasonable conservative, looking at the way people get trapped in the “helpful” system?

The ‘weapons’ paragraph is in keeping with his theme of stop supplying WMDs and war machines to psycho governments and groups that I’ve heard lamented by angry atheists military folks. Does anybody else remember the whole “France selling Saddam stuff to kill his people” scandal? Or the German company caught selling weapons to him? Or any of the other countries at that link that were engaged in arms dealing with someone they’d agreed not to, because he had a nasty habit of killing illegitimate targets, but they wanted money?

I can see how someone that’s sure he’s in the mold of an American leftist seeing him calling for the various things I read it summarized as– but he didn’t.
For once, he actually used standard Catholic style speaking.


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