Pope Francis made a powerful statement by meeting with gay marriage dissenter Kim Davis. But imagine how much more powerful it would have been had the meeting been public, rather than private.
Pope Francis has come and gone. His five-day sojourn in America started with a visit to Washington, D.C. (including speaking to a joint session of the U.S. Congress), continued in New York City (including a speech to the U.N. General Assembly) and concluded with a World Congress of Families in Philadelphia.
What should one make of this historic visit? The mass appeal generated by the pope’s visit, symbolized by a million-person mass in Philadelphia, was extraordinary by any standard or measure. The pope is a head of state (Vatican City), thus a political figure, but primarily and overwhelmingly he is an overtly religious figure in that he is the titular head of the world communion of Roman Catholics.
The massive public outpouring of goodwill and visceral emotion generated by the visit of such an overtly religious figure reveals just how ultimately empty and unfulfilling millions of Americans find their secularizing lives and society to be. Multitudes are clearly yearning for spiritual sustenance.
I cannot help but wonder how many in the left-leaning American secular mass media were mystified, if not down right alarmed, by just how popular Pope Francis proved to be to Americans, no matter how encouraging the media found his support of their political agenda to be.
The incredible grassroots response to the pope’s visit certainly calls into question just how rapidly and irreversibly America is secularizing.
In his speech to Congress, and later at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, the pontiff was more overtly political than many conservative Catholics and non-Catholics had hoped he would be.
Some of my conservative Catholic friends ranged from disappointed to grieved that Pope Francis was much more forceful and emphatic when speaking about climate change, economic justice and peace-making (including positive comments about the Iran deal), than he was when dealing with the sanctity of human life, same-sex marriage and religious freedom. Why?
It is certainly true that the Catechism of the Catholic Church requires a “balanced” view of economic policy:
“The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modern times with communism or socialism. She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of capitalism, individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market. Reasonable of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values in a view to the common good, is to be commended” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2425; A, 10; 13; 44).
Still, the Pope’s choice of emphasis concerned and disappointed many conservatives, Catholic and Protestant alike.
As liberal commentator Ruth Marcus put it:
“But for the most part, the statements that put Francis in line with conservatives were muted and indirect — and when, in a year that saw the Supreme Court legalize same-sex marriage, he said ‘Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as in the very basis of marriage and the family.’
“By contrast, the Pope was explicit not only on immigration and climate change, but on the death penalty and arms trading …” (Investor’s Business Daily, 9/28/15).
It certainly appeared that the Pope was putting the emphasis on issues associated with the left, at least in public.
In private, it now surfaces, he secretly met with Kentucky Count Clerk Kim Davis and her husband at the Papal Nunciature in Washington, D.C. after his speech to a joint session of Congress.
On Wednesday it was revealed that he had met with the Davises, prayed for her and, according to Mrs. Davis, Pope Francis “thanked me for my courage and told me to ‘stay strong.'”
Why meet secretly? Imagine the impact if that visit had been publicized while he was still in the spotlight in America.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post