CAVEAT ALERT: I'm not a Catholic but respect Catholics as fellow Christians and view the Pope as the spiritual authority for the worldwide Roman Catholic Church. Nothing here is to be taken as disrespect for the Pope or the Church. They are observations vis-a-vis my viewings of the Pope's activities on his U.S. visit.
I appreciate the Church's positions and the fact that the Pope must teach, protect, and even enforce them, no matter whether or not the rank-and-file pay attention and act accordingly. There's always been a question about the “infallibility” (incapable of error) of the Pope, since, despite his exalted position, he is just a person (to call him a man—the obvious—would be politically incorrect). Only God is infallible.
Right after his installation, Pope Francis said, regarding homosexual behavior, “Who am I to judge?” This made him a darling of the U.S. mainstream media, notwithstanding his church's stand on that subject, which is total intolerance, necessitating his backtracking that statement. Another Papal bone thrown to “sinners” was the recent announcement of a “year of mercy” December 2015-November 2016 wherein the “sin of abortion” will be forgiven, as if forgiveness can be granted by priests or the church. In any case, why not now instead of waiting for December?
President Obama, smiling (smirking) all the while, rubbed il Papa's face in sexual detritus by publicly inviting homosexuals and other sexual deviates to his grand reception for the Pope, as well as inviting former Episcopal Bishop Eugene Robinson, who married a woman, had two children, decided on divorce (anathema to Catholic dogma), adopted homosexuality, shacked up with a male “partner,” whom he later married (as if he could) and then divorced. This was Obama's penultimate insult, an insensitive trivializing of Pope and Church. Mohammad's ghost is still laughing at Obama's Papal beheading.
The Pope's emphasis was on help for the poor worldwide, meaning that developed nations such as the U.S. must “step up,” sort of divesting themselves of the good life and establishing that elusive “level playing field.” He doesn't understand that once that happens—capital/wealth destroyed—everyone becomes poor, with no further deliverance possible. He lectured the world (Congress?) about the evils of capitalism, the source of funds-for-relief, exhibiting ignorance of how it and socialism, his failed way, differ. He should check the second parable in Matthew 25 to get Christ's idea about capitalism/economics.
The colossal irony concerning the poor: The Pope—not God—was virtually deified—worshiped—as he made his way through the crowds in flowing robes, solid white while traveling, and, like multitudes of other church officials, in layers of colorful and expensive robes and strange head-wear for the Mass. The media folks were overwhelmed while describing the three-year $175 million renovation of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, its opulence for all to see. Repairs are one thing, excess quite another.
The supreme irony lay in the difference between the ministry in the U.S. of the Pope, amidst all the trappings of huge wealth, and that of Jesus Christ, who was a hunted man and fortunate to have clothes. The use of the small car was so transparently superficial as to be insulting. It's less than a hundred miles from New York City to Philadelphia—a short, quick helicopter ride—but the Pope (or somebody) rented a huge airliner for the trip, filling the atmosphere with toxic gasses and, like the helicopter, easily shot down by a Muslim with a shoulder-fired missile.
This introduces the Papal fear of climate-change, as if only he knows what the climate should be. He and Obama made common cause vis-a-vis stopping alleged man-made global warming when no warming has happened for nearly 20 years. Warming identified in the Arctic has been offset by temperatures in the Antarctic resulting in the highest volume of southern-ocean sea-ice ever recorded. Apparently, neither man—woefully out of his depth—knows that climatologists rate the year 1100 much warmer than 2015, with an ice-age following, or that climatologists warned in the 1970s that a cruel ice-age was about to follow the modern hottest-on-record decade, the 1930s. Man has nothing substantial to do with climate, though he can cause cleaner air.
The Pope was on target with his plea for the “least of these,” but disgust is felt at the virtual worship of the man. Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari tweeted that if he got close enough he would kiss the Pope's ring. That's sick. Pennsylvania Congressman Brady made off with the glass of water the Pope sipped during his speech in Congress, sipped it himself and made it available to others to stick their fingers in the “holy water” for a blessing. That's sick.
Sicker still has been the corruption, criminal pedophilia and rampant homosexuality in the priesthood (especially in the seminaries). The Pope lectured the bishops and seminarians decades after the fact. Hopefully, he will tend to the business and spirituality of the church and leave world politics and economics alone. I respect the Pope for being a religious leader but not a world politician.
And so it goes.