Yes, The Pope Is A Hypocrite

The-Pope

The absurdity of the U.S. media doing backflips over the Pope while the largely godless progressive movement momentarily treats a religious leader as if he is the authority on all things was magnified by the Pope’s remarks to Congress yesterday, which you can read, if you have time on your hands, here.  One example will suffice, or at least one is all I have time and stomach for.

The Pope called for open borders, specifically in the U.S:

“On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ This rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.”

To begin with, this is ethically and politically simple-minded: no serious ethicist believes that reciprocity works as an ethical system in all circumstances, and one  of those circumstances  in which serious people recognize it does not is governing nations. Sounds nice, though, doesn’t it? But never mind. Never mind also that a nation built on ideals, traditions, cultural norms, and an acceptance of common values cannot take in unlimited people unfamiliar with and unsympathetic to these core cultural elements and survive. The issue, for now, is hypocrisy.

The Pope’s own domain, Vatican City, a sovereign political entity, has millions of visitors a year but allows only those who meet strict criteria to be residents or citizens. According to a 2012 study by the Library of Congress, about 450 of its approximately 800 residents have achieved citizenship . Citizenship is limited to church cardinals who reside in the Vatican, the Holy See’s diplomats, and those who have to reside in the city because of their jobs, such as the Swiss Guard. Spouses and children who live in the city because of their relationship with citizens,  including the Swiss Guard, are also granted citizenship. Very few of the Vatican’s citizens are women.

Applying the Pope’s supposed principles that he lectured the Congress about yesterday, he should be allowing hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, and, if they choose, Mexican immigrants, to join the happy few in his domain. Of course, he won’t, because he isn’t insane. His apologists will argue that the Vatican is different, that it can’t open its doors because the result would be chaos, and the Vatican wouldn’t be the Vatican if it did.

This is also true of the United States, but The Golden Rule notwithstanding, the Pope doesn’t really care about that. He cares about talking in broad generalities divorced from political, financial and demographic realities, resulting in utter hypocrisy, and the cynical partisans using his hypocritical remarks to support their own irresponsible policies exploit it.

Yechhh.

Pope Francis is the Hypocrite of the Year.

52 thoughts on “Yes, The Pope Is A Hypocrite

  1. The American Left’s orgasmic embrace of a Pope is laughable. No more pope hat and mitre and popemobile jokes? No more anger about gays and women not being allowed in the priesthood. No more anger about the Church’s opposition to abortion? Or divorce? A mystery to me that makes something like the Holy Trinity look like two plus two equals four. What a joke.

  2. The Gospel is morality, not ethics, It was intended as a guide for a righteous life not a practical constitution for an ethical nation. Pope Francis was hypocritical about more than this yesterday, witness his squishy positions regarding abortion and the family, and his other lack of a reference to the Christians now being murdered by Isis. He is certainly no John Paul the second, and ultimately I think he may hurt not help the West’s conflict with what is radical Islam.

  3. I agree with your general principle about the Golden Rule being a bad policy for governments, but the Vatican IS different.

    With only 110 acres, it is one of the most densely populated countries on earth. The United States is FAR down on the list. So, yes, while you can claim he is a hypocrite, there are non-hypocritical reasons.

    For the United States to absorb 100,000 refugees, it would be the equivalent of Vatican City accepting 0.26 of a refugee in terms of its effect on the overall population. Even if the U.S. naturalized the 11 Million people here illegally, that would be like Vatican City adding 2.6 people to its population.

    Is the Pope’s proposal foolish and simplistic? Yes, and yes. Hypocritical? Not necessarily. We are not dealing with apples and apples.

    -Jut

      • Did you read what I wrote?
        Naturalizing the 11 Million people here would be like adding less than 3 to Vatican City.
        I don’t see how you get apples and apples.
        -Jut

        • He read it, he also read the Pope’s speech. Absorbing millions of people with no controls, however that relates to the population of the Vatican, is irresponsible behavior.

        • At approximately 320,000,000, adding 11,000,000 (a 3.5% change) + the following flood based on implications of the Pope’s “open border” suggestion would push a sudden 4-5% change in population in a VERY short period of time.

          Though 4-5% seems insignificant, I’d submit that that IS a very abrupt change to a population (when the change is unassimilated) with very noticeable and unpredictable effects.

          Looking back at census stats, the most rapidly our population has changed was a 3.2% changes (and that includes births along with the immigration stats).

            • To make this statement more accurate, here is the census data. Understand of course, the census data only allows us to estimate each year based on a average of decade growth and won’t show high spikes or low troughs within each decade:

              1801-1810 3.15%
              1811-1820 2.90%
              1821-1830 2.93%
              1831-1840 2.87%
              1841-1850 3.11%
              1851-1860 3.09%
              1861-1870 2.06%
              1871-1880 2.67%
              1881-1890 2.30%
              1891-1900 1.93%
              1901-1910 1.93%
              1911-1920 1.40%
              1921-1930 1.51%
              1931-1940 0.70%
              1941-1950 1.36%
              1951-1960 1.71%
              1961-1970 1.26%
              1971-1980 1.09%
              1981-1990 0.94%
              1991-2000 1.27%
              2001-2010 0.92%
              2011-2020 0.73%

          • To quibble, for accuracy’s sake, if we are going to argue mathematics, the ratio of 11,000,000 illegals to a population of 320,000,000 is more like 15 illegals to the Vatican’s population of 450…

        • I don’t think Jack is arguing over the percentages of naturalization; rather, he is arguing that it is hypocritical for the Holy Father to urge the US to alter its immigration policy and extend compassionate legal status to millions for people who have not earned the rights to such status where the Vatican has not done so. The Golden Rule is a great moral and ethical framework: “Do unto others what you would have them to unto you.” It is biblical. It is moral. It is ethical. It is just: I don’t throw stones at my neighbor’s windows and break them because I don’t want him to break mine. My neighbor picks up his trash from my yard because he wants me to do same with my trash. In one respect it is self-oriented in that I don’t hit my classmate because I don’t want to hit me; in another respect, it is altruistic because it makes me think of others and what their rights are – their rights are important and should be respected just as others should respect mine.

          Yet, governments don’t operate at that level. If the Holy Father’s urging is correct and appropriate for the US, then it should be correct and appropriate for the world. If that were the case, there would not be refugees fleeing violent regimes, nor would there be flocks of illegal immigrants flowing into other countries because those very own governments would be acting ethically. Mexico’s government has been corrupt for almost 100 years. Syria is a hornet’s nest of violence. China imprisons dissidents and restricts freedom and liberties. By God, even Canada has problems (with the exception of Rush – let it go, Tex!!!!). Under the Golden Rule, undocumented people wouldn’t come to the US and demand protection because they would want their rules and laws protected. Now, the argument is that Golden Rule requires a change in US immigration policy because those who haven’t earned are not entitled to it and are demanding action (which is a conundrum under the Golden Rule, no?).

          As much as I think Pope Francis has done a great job restoring the Church’s image, I think he missed the mark on immigration and climate change. What makes me crazy is the idea that illegal aliens or undocumented migrants (use whichever term you wish because I don’t care about nomenclature) are horribly mistreated, hiding in the shadows from the Great White Oppressor. Apparently, those urging change in the law haven’t been to Houston lately. They must not have seen the thousands of landscaping trucks moving freely about the city making yards look nice, or road crews filling in pot holes, or wait staff at restaurants cooking food and cleaning tables, or the myriad domestic workers tending to cleaning up after the Great White Oppressors’ equally oppressive and entitled offspring.

          As for climate change, it is easy for the Vatican to urge environmental protection – it does not rely on heavy industry for its well-being and the future of its citizens. Should he urge proper stewardship of the environment? Yes, but that is a bit simplistic. No sane person would argue that dumping toxic waste into the drinking supply is a good idea. Yet, improved technology has sustained life. The hysteria over anit-GMO-cultivated crops is a good example. Disease-and insect-resistant crops help feed the world and there is little evidence that they are harmful; yet, the cry against them is driven by the same faith-based or ideologically based clamoring against climate change, where the science is not settled on either side.

          jvb

    • Why doesn’t the Pope liquidate the church’s assets and distribute the money to the poor all over the world?

      He’s not only a hypocrite, he’s a useful idiot for people who will profit from the world’s descending into chaos.

      • Okay, now this is an appropriate criticism. As JutGlory pointed out (as if he needed to point out something so obvious), it is irrational to argue that the Pope needs to admit refugees to the Vatican’s postage stamp of land.

        But, he COULD donate enormous money to relief organizations focused on this issue.

        And while we’re focusing on things he could do but doesn’t, he also could execute all the priests who have raped children. Or, at least throw them in some dingy cell for the rest of their lives.

        • Why is it irrational? He is demanding that everyone have open borders, except him. That is hypocrisy.

          If open borders is the goal, then it doesn’t matter how big you are. If size and population density is the issue, then we should feel perfectly justified in closing our borders and insisting that people go to Canada and South America (pick a country), Greenland, or Mongolia. If it is money they are after, then they should go to Vatican City, which is far richer than we are.

          So, what is the criterion? Is it population density, or wealth? We aren’t the best place on either criterion.

          Also, does this only apply to hispanic illegal immigrants? Because I don’t understand why California has a safe harbor law protecting hispanics, but is working to get rid of their Chinese ones? Isn’t that racist?

          http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/11/us-usa-china-deportations-exclusive-idUSKCN0RB0D020150911

          http://www.alipac.us/f12/california-crackdown-chinese-immigrants-alarms-rights-groups-321408/

        • Got to agree with Jack on this one. Yes, the US is, from a purely land-space perspective, able to take on more people. But I’m guessing the Vatican isn’t $19 trillion in debt. So us taking on more people and more responsibility IS directly equivalent to the Vatican not accepting all who come a-knockin’. They don’t have the land – we don’t have the money.

      • Why not liquidate its assets? It’s land rich-cash poor. Not too many people are going to be able to afford to buy the Sistine Chapel.
        -Jut

        • Surely you jest. Only need one buyer. Everything has a price. Russian klepto oligarchs buy basketball teams and soccer clubs, why not some prime Roman real estate and “priceless” works of art? Move the Sistine chapel to a house in London. I suspect Sotheby’s could price the Pieta. No problem. Land rich, cash poor. Hah. Let the poor live on the real property assets. Plus, I bet the church’s cash position is pretty strong. They run one of the nastiest banks in the world. What’s Francis’s mission? Keep a healthy balance sheet or eliminate poverty? He’s a dope. And a hypocrite.

  4. That strikes me as very odd.

    The time to worry is not when the Pope, or the Dalai Lama, or any spiritual leader, speaks in generalities – the time to worry is when they get really specific. As in the Holy Roman Empire, or Sharia law.

    We don’t want our spiritual leaders engaging in politics – what we do want from them is the occasional directional reminder of what True North looks like. For them to vet their spiritual pronouncements against political reality is to invite meddling in politics by true believers – whether it’s al-Baghdadi or Rick Santorum, it’s never a good idea.

    The pope calling for nations to remember they’re dealing in human beings is 100% appropriate. I don’t take it as specific political advice anymore than other spiritual pronouncements.

    For example: Is any middle-class Christian a hypocrite because they do not hew to Jesus’ statement that “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God?” I don’t think so – it’s a directional statement, one we should keep in mind in our messy daily world.

    I just don’t think your literal interpretation of his words is the right one; certainly it doesn’t make the Pope the “Hypocrite of the Year.”

    • I may disagree with you on many things, but nailed it with this:
      “We don’t want our spiritual leaders engaging in politics – what we do want from them is the occasional directional reminder of what True North looks like.”

      If only more people shared that vision.

    • In other words, “words have no meaning.” That’s ridiculous. He said that we should accept all immigrants who want to come here, That’s nonsense, it’s also what he said. What, in practical terms, does calling for nations to remember they’re dealing in human beings mean? If it is no more than stating the obvious—I’m pretty sure the Congress gets that—then why is that worth hearing? in my first draft I referred to the Pope’s insulting hypocrisy. Now I wished it had been left in.

      He said what he said. What he said was articulating a standard that he would not let the Vatican embody because its irresponsible and destructive, and it is just as irresponsible and destructive to the US. You can’t use “but he wasn’t speaking literally” to rationalize that. He was speaking to a body that deals in solutions, laws and policies, not abstract philosophy/

      • Jack: “He said that we should accept all immigrants who want to come here”

        Nowhere in the portion you quoted does he say anything like that. Did he say that in a different part of the speech? If so, why didn’t you quote that part?

    • “We don’t want our spiritual leaders engaging in politics – what we do want from them is the occasional directional reminder of what True North looks like. For them to vet their spiritual pronouncements against political reality is to invite meddling in politics by true believers – whether it’s al-Baghdadi or Rick Santorum, it’s never a good idea.”

      I think what you meant to say is “we don’t want our spiritual leaders applying their religious conclusions to policy”. As for “reminding us of what True North” looks like, why on Earth wouldn’t our policy seek to get us there? This entire paragraph of yours is conflicting and confusing.

      “Is any middle-class Christian a hypocrite because they do not hew to Jesus’ statement that “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God?” I don’t think so – it’s a directional statement, one we should keep in mind in our messy daily world.”

      1) Out of context it’s easy to misinterpret this discussion on the nature of Salvation, Regeneration, Perfection and Heavenly Treasures.

      2) But let’s say out of context we can have a valid discussion on this quote.

      3) This statement doesn’t make a Christian a hypocrite who doesn’t give up his wealth. As hypocrisy is doing what you expect others not to do and consider wrong to do OR not doing what you expect others to do and consider an obligation.

      4) If this statement were actually worded as a command, like you could have cherry-picked a handful of others, such as this one (also from the full passage you use): “If you desire to be perfect, go sell all your possessions and give to the poor, and then you will have treasure in Heaven, and come follow Me.” EVEN THEN Christians would not be hypocrites for not following it…they’d be merely disobedient.

      5) There would only be hypocrisy if Christians demanded or expected others give up all their wealth to the poor, while not doing the same.

      “I just don’t think your literal interpretation of his words is the right one; certainly it doesn’t make the Pope the “Hypocrite of the Year.””

      Jack made no literal interpretation of the Pope’s words (at least not in the bit he quoted above – a point made by Chris below), but made the a likely interpretation of what the Pope subtly suggested to our Lawmakers.

      “The pope calling for nations to remember they’re dealing in human beings is 100% appropriate. I don’t take it as specific political advice anymore than other spiritual pronouncements.”

      In other words, he’s lecturing them like they are Kindergartners…that’s swell.

  5. To this Pope the Battle of the Milvian Bridge might as well have never occurred, and the faith might as well be a small, hidden community of charitable believers who have few material possessions because they have sold them to provide for those who have less, not the majority faith of the West.

  6. Jack,
    I couldn’t agree more. I’d be far more impressed by Francis’s broad proclamations if he agreed to open up St. Peter’s Basilica like they did with the Superdome after Katrina. It’s a huge space that could easily accommodate cots, medical services, or even just a distribution point for food. But, as you mentioned, he won’t because neither he, his Cardinals, or the Swiss Guard have any interest in dealing with the cleanup afterwards.

    Honestly, beauteous though they can be, every time I walk into a gilded sanctuary (and the Vatican has no shortage of those) I’m reminded of Thomas Becket (or at least the version of him portrayed in fiction) and how aghast he would be at the lack of austerity while so many go without shelter or food. Hell, even Cat Stevens sold off his gold records and donated the proceeds before converting to Islam

    Hope you’re well.

    Cheers,
    Neil

  7. I wonder how things would go if he went to Mexico and spoke about “The Golden rule” and Central Americans immigrating to Mexico. He’d probably get a bad taco served to him someplace.

  8. I don’t think the Pope is indulging in political speech when he speaks of compassion. The people who are using his words to try to force some kind of open borders socialistic political agenda are the ones who are trying to make it into political speech. It’s just more of the cherry picking of events and statements that the political class loves to exploit.

    Of course religious statements are idealized and they should be. But, I don’t think they’re hypocritical. Just because your performance is less than your ideals doesn’t make you a hypocrite. It’s when you judge people by a different standard than you judge yourself that you get into hypocrisy. The Pope has given his life to service and to spreading Christian ideals. He represents a set of moral standards that no one can live up to, but that we can try to live up to. In the trying we become better people. I don’t think anyone can accuse the Pope of hypocrisy. He lives his religion every day to the best of his ability. He does it under a microscope. He is held accountable for what other people do. There is not going to be a moment in time that he is doing everything correctly according to his own moral standards. The more a person lives by their ideals the more he/she realizes that it’s impossible to do. The religious life requires continuing to work toward a worthy goal even when it’s unpopular and even when everyone thinks you’re wrong.

      • Where do you get that he is telling our government to have open borders? It could as easily mean that we should help them by sending help to them in their own country. And he doesn’t mention government as the source of help.
        As far as I can tell people listening to him are the ones making the case for open borders.

        • Uh, he’s talking to Congress. If he isn’t talking about government, then he’s wasting everyone’s time. The statement— “On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ This rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.”—must be interpreted in context, which is a speech to apolitical, governmental body. You can’t defend it by denying not only its only possible meaning in that context, but also how it is being interpreted by the news media and illegal immigration advocates, like the entire Democratic Party.

    • You think THAT’S why he resigned? I think this has been a while in coming, BUT I hope you are right. I’d like to think this ISN’T going to be a blood-red tide of excessive conservatism (yes, I use the tide metaphor for other things).

      • P.S., foreign heads of state have addressed the Joint Session over 100 times, and Netanyahu is tied for the top spot (3x) with Winston Churchill. This IS the first time a religious dignitary has done so, and it seems now like it was a bad idea (JP2 didn’t do it, and arguably would have been in a stronger position, as the moral leader of the Cold War), BUT, why was this last address by Netanyahu particularly bad? Or are you generally against foreign leaders addressing the Congress (for which a case can be made)?

    • Ah, but let’s look at it from that perspective:

      If the Pope carries a salvific message coupled with an exhortation to Believers to treat those worse off with compassion and charity, then let’s stipulate that when he speaks, he is speaking to the Body of Believers.

      Now, paralleled with your analysis on Netanyahu, where we determined that Congress was unethical to permit Netanyahu to speak, but Netanyahu was ethical to take the opportunity to advance a message he reasonably believes to be critical, then surely in this case it is again, Congress that is unethical to open the invitation to the Pope, the Pope is not unethical to take the opportunity to speak…

      The only difference of course is that Netanyahu WAS seeking to affect policy, and the only defense of the Pope here are claims that he wasn’t seeking to affect policy.

      Well, now that I talked myself out of that objection, but I don’t want to delete this, I’ll hit post anyway.

  9. Any comments on this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-main-message-of-pope-francis-and-jesus/2015/09/24/997e1e54-62ea-11e5-b38e-06883aacba64_story.html?tid=pm_opinions_pop_b

    I am not a Christian. But growing up in India, I was immersed in Christianity. I attended Catholic and Anglican schools from ages 5 to 18, where we would sing hymns, recite prayers and study the Scriptures. The words and actions of Pope Francis have reminded me what I, as an outsider, have always admired deeply about Christianity, that its central message is simple and powerful: Be nice to the poor.

    When I came to the United States in the 1980s, I remember being surprised to see what “Christian values” had come to mean in American culture and politics — heated debates over abortion, abstinence, contraception and gays. In 13 years of reading, reciting and studying the Bible, I didn’t recall seeing much about these topics.

    That’s because there is very little in there about them. As Garry Wills points out in his perceptive new book, “The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis,” “Many of the most prominent and contested stands taken by Catholic authorities (most of them dealing with sex) have nothing to do with the Gospel.”

    The central message of Christianity is Christ was crucified. It is not “care for the poor.”

  10. … a nation built on ideals, traditions, cultural norms, and an acceptance of common values cannot take in unlimited people unfamiliar with and unsympathetic to these core cultural elements and survive.

    Actually, it can – if those things include a mechanism for sidelining such people well enough. The Ottoman Empire was a case in point, but the U.S.A. only has or had a few such mechanisms that don’t cover today’s situation well: Loyalists (massacre and exile); Indians (deportation and reservations); conquered Floridians, Mexicans, and Hawaiians (demographic advantage); Mormons (deferring and denying representation until adequately assimilated); and perhaps some others.

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