The Common Good

The Pope's Criticisms Hit Where It Hurts

Date: December 21, 2013

In his Tuesday piece “As advocate for poor, pope fills proper role,” Dispatch Columnist Joe Blundo most likely did not alleviate the angst many conservatives are feeling about Pope Francis’ recent proclamations.

Blundo cites Rush Limbaugh for calling the pope a Marxist. Blundo goes on to include figurative language the pope used to describe the free market: “When the glass is full, it magically gets bigger and nothing ever comes out for the poor.”...

The Rev. Jim Wallis highlighted the debate in his 2005 New York Times bestseller, God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.

Simply put, Wallis argues that while conservatives have co-opted God with attacks on gays and abortion, liberals more closely follow Christ’s teachings on important issues such as war and poverty.

Francis is on the same page as Wallis when he downplays church dogma that alienates many Catholics on social issues and instead emphasizes Christ’s own teachings that bear on issues affecting the poor, to the chagrin of conservatives.