I’ve been finding it a bit strange and somewhat funny that for some time now, I’ve been finding myself, a ‘heathen’, ideologically aligned with Pope Francis I, and in opposition to many political and moral views of the larger number of my Catholic and Christian family and friends.
Especially when it comes to topics regarding public life: caring for the poor and needy, materialism, Tea-Party-brand political views, and so forth.
With Pope Francis, I share the general view that preserving the life of and caring for the wellbeing of other people is not something we engage in only privately, individually, or if our religion happens to say so, or if we feel like it at the time, but is a moral imperative for human societies and nations as a whole. I also agree that hyper-individualist ideology is bankrupt, is not only contrary to the best in human nature but an illusion: we are, in reality, intimately tied together, in thought, in action, and in fate.
That being said, I do part ways with the Pope in crucial ways: consider this is a teaser for my next essay. Stay tuned!
I, too, find myself sharing lots of things with him, but not with the Catholic Church in general. I think he is a fresh air for many, renewing faith. And he is from Argentina!!! 🙂
Thanks for your input, Vanina!
I'm very interested in what this Pope is doing: I think he's providing an excellent example for action in many ways, and a breath of fresh air after the hard-line ideologue who last held that post. Particularly for many American Catholics, whose ideas I'm most familiar with. While there are many whose social and political beliefs are more informed by the social justice aspects aspects of Catholic social teaching http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching/seven-themes-of-catholic-social-teaching.cfm
a much more vocal and politically influential contingent of American Catholics have bought into a uniquely American concoction of hardline Calivinistic ideas mixed with a hyper-individualist brand of Enlightenment thought, exemplified by the Tea Party movement. (When it comes to an account of human nature, I wish Hume's had won out over Locke: modern science demonstrates that Hume was right in emphasizing the social instincts of human beings as the driving force behind thought and action)
Anyway, I hope he serves as a good influence for so many American and other Catholics who have long identified themselves more by their rigid adherence to dogma
and less by their role as exemplars of the Jesus of the Bible who commanded his followers to feed the poor and pray in private.