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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Bernie and the Pope

So, although the Vatican said the Pope didn't invite Bernie to the Vatican, and although the Pope said he couldn't meet Bernie because of his trip to Greece, yet still Bernie and the Pope had a meeting.

Sigh :( This is a weird thing, the Catholic/Bernie love fest. There are two reasons why ... (1) it's weird for Bernie liberals because the Pope is anything *but* a social liberal on equality and rights for women and for LGBT people ... (2) it's weird for moderate Catholics too because while they may be interested in helping the poor, like Bernie, they are usually very anti-abortion and hesitant about LGBT and women's rights, while Bernie is a strong supporter of all those things. Is it a hatred of Hillary that binds these two groups together or is it a failure to face facts?

Here's a bit from a couple of articles on this ...

- Is Pope Francis a Bernie Bro?: The Vatican’s invitation to Sanders isn’t the first time a papal confidante undermined a woman candidate in a U.S. presidential race.

No sooner had Bernie Sanders, the United States senator from Vermont, announced his invitation to address a Vatican conference just days ahead of the increasingly important New York primary, than a controversy broke out.

Margaret Archer, president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, the entity hosting the conference, told Bloomberg Politics that Sanders had wrangled the invitation behind her back; Monsignor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, the academy’s chancellor and a member of the Curia, said it wasn’t so—that Archer had signed off on the invitation. Essentially, he called her a liar. The Vatican, it seems, is a dangerous place to be a woman who would deign to wield the power implied by her title.

Just days before, Sanders, who is challenging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, had called Clinton “unqualified” for the presidency. To the ears of many women of a certain age, accustomed to being deemed unqualified for roles long reserved to men, the charge had a gendered tinge. To some of us, it may even seem fitting, in light of Sanders’s remarks (which he has since walked back), that he should be so warmly received by an institution that bars women from the upper reaches of leadership. But I digress.

The real question here is: Just what is the Vatican up to? Whether or not Sanders asked for the invitation, the Pontifical Academy did not have to grant it. The two other politicians addressing the conference—which will mark the 25th anniversary of Centesimus Annus, the encyclical by Pope John Paul II written to commemorate Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, which addressed the rights of labor and capital—are both heads of state. And if there’s any institution steeped in the particulars of symbolism and protocol, it’s the Vatican .....

- Bernie Sanders must accept that Pope Francis isn’t a friend to the left: The pontiff can’t be a true humanitarian with his anti-woman and anti-LGBT views

In an already weird election season, things have gotten even stranger as Bernie Sanders vies heavily and openly for Pope Francis to meet with him. Sanders admires the pope so much that he is leaving the campaign trail for a couple of days, something even some allies question the wisdom of, to speak at the Vatican and, he hopes, get a chance to meet Francis and (of course), get a picture with him.

“I believe that the pope has been an inspirational figure in raising public consciousness about the kind of income and wealth inequality we are seeing all over this world,” Sanders told The Washington Post, explaining his decision.

This decision has raised controversy, with Clinton supporters noting that the history of the Catholic church getting involved in elections where there was what you might call concern that women might secure powerful leadership positions, something expressly forbidden within the church. But both critics and supporters of Sanders openly courting the Vatican seem to believe that it’s a good move for him politically, that Pope will cast a glow on Sanders and charm more voters to his side.

If so, that’s a real shame, because it shows yet again that liberals and progressives really need to get it into their heads: The Pope is not your friend. And he’s not really a friend to the poor, because half of them (probably more) are women ...


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