After Pope Francis released his first apostolic exhortation -- in which he criticized global inequalities of wealth and the tenets of so-called trickle-down economics -- right-wing media went on the attack, characterizing the pope's treatise as "disturbingly ignorant" and "pure Marxism."
The Pope Releases His First Apostolic Exhortation
Pope Francis Criticizes The "New Idolatry Of Money," And "The Denial Of The Primacy Of The Human Person." Pope Francis released his first papal treatise, Evangelii Gaudium, which criticizes the "idolatry of money" and global wealth inequality:
Pope Francis' exhortation Evangelii Gaudium ("The Joy of the Gospel") continues and reinforces a vision of the Church found in the early studies of the future Pope Benedict XVI--a vision that was central to Benedict's teachings as the Successor of St. Peter. In i>Evangelii Gaudium, Francis draws from his own experiences and in his own way continues his predecessor's vision.
The threats that press upon the Church from without--threats that hinder the faithful from sincerely and joyfully sharing the Gospel and that prevent others from hearing it--are likewise diverse and plentiful. Francis admits that he will not be offering a "detailed and complete analysis of contemporary reality" (51) exterior to the Church, but his review is nonetheless thorough.
His list includes: an "economy of exclusion," where "[h]uman beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded" (53-54); the "new idolatry of money," which derives from "the denial of the primacy of the human person" (55-56); a "financial system which rules rather than serves" (57-58); rampant "inequality which spawns violence" (59-60); and an array of other cultural concerns (61-67) such as secularism, the breakdown of the family, and the viewing of marriage as a means to "mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will" (66). [The Catholic World Report, 11/27/13]
Right Wing Media Denounce The Pope's Remarks
Fox News' Napolitano: "His Encyclical Is About Economics, And It Reveals A Disturbing Ignorance." In a December 5 column on FoxNews.com, senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano criticized Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation calling it a "disturbing ignorance" on economics:
His encyclical is about economics, and it reveals a disturbing ignorance.
Thank God, so to speak, that his teaching authority is limited to faith and morals, because in matters of economics, he is wide of the mark.
His encyclical, entitled "Joy of the Gospel," attacks free market capitalism because it takes too long for the poor to get rich. "They are still waiting," the pope wrote.
Well, without capitalism, which rewards hard work and sacrifice, they will wait forever. [FoxNews.com, 12/5/13]
Fox News Editor: "Pope Francis Is The Catholic Church's Obama - God Help Us." FoxNews.com editor Adam Shaw called the pope's statements "embarrassing," comparing Pope Francis negatively to President Obama and predicting that Pope Francis will spell "disaster" for the Catholic Church. From the column:
And just as President Obama has been a disappointment for America, Pope Francis will prove a disaster for the Catholic Church.
My fellow Catholics should be suspicious when bastions of anti-Catholicism in the left-wing media are in love with him.
Just like Obama thought he'd won over Putin by promising a reset, Francis thinks by talking vacuously about the poor, he will be respected. And it is vacuous -- the pontiff recently asked why it's news that the stock market drops but not when an old person dies. When your leader is asking, "Why isn't the newspaper a laundry list of obituaries?" you know you elected the wrong guy.
On world matters, Francis' statements are embarrassing. About communism, a destructive ideology that slaughtered millions of Catholics, he said:
"Learning about it through a courageous and honest person was helpful. I realized...an aspect of the social, which I then found in the social doctrine of the Church."
Like Obama, Francis is unable to see the problems that are really endangering his people. Like Obama he mistakes the faithful for the enemy, the enemy for his friend, condescension for respect, socialism for justice and capitalism for tyranny. [FoxNews.com, 12/5/13]
Drudge Report: Pope Francis, "Rise of the Next Obama?" On December 5, The Drudge Report posted a picture of Pope Francis with the caption, "Rise of the Next Obama?"
[The Drudge Report, 12/5/13]
Rush Limbaugh: "The Pope Is Ripping America ... And Obama's Having An Orgasm." On the December 4 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that "[t]he pope has co-opted Obama" with his remarks on economic inequality, adding that "the pope is ripping America... and Obama is having an orgasm."
LIMBAUGH: What does Obama do? He rips the country. You know, that still frosts me. Obama out, quoting the pope -- I've got to find that sound bite. Hang on, here - this is, see, this is -- grab number 26.
Folks if you missed this, you've got to hear this. This is the president citing the pope, his new best friend, because the pope is ripping America, the pope ripping capitalism. The pope, ripping Ronaldus Magnus. The pope, ripping trickle-down economics.
And Obama's having an orgasm. Jeremiah Wright is beside himself. Jeremiah Wright thought he was Obama's preacher, now pope somehow has co-opted Obama. Who would have ever thought? [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 12/5/13, via Media Matters]
Limbaugh: "This Is Just Pure Marxism Coming Out Of The Mouth Of The Pope." On the November 27 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh blasted the pope, calling his critique of economic inequality "pure Marxism":
LIMBAUGH: I mentioned, last night -- I was doing show prep last night -- usual routine. And I ran across this -- I don't actually know what it's called -- the latest papal offering, statement from Pope Francis. Now, up until this -- I'm not Catholic. Up until this, I have to tell you, I was admiring the man. I thought he was going a little overboard on the "common man" touch, and I thought there might have been a little bit of PR involved there. But nevertheless, I was willing to cut him some slack. I mean, if he wants to portray himself as still from the streets of where he came from and is not anything special, not aristocratic, if he wants to eschew the physical trappings of the Vatican -- OK, cool, fine.
But this that I came across last night -- I mean, it totally befuddled me. If it weren't for capitalism, I don't know where the Catholic Church would be. Now, as I mentioned before, I'm not Catholic. I admire it profoundly, and I've been tempted a number of times to delve deeper into it. But the pope here has now gone beyond Catholicism here, and this is pure political. Now, I want to share with you some of this stuff.
"Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as 'a new tyranny.' He beseeched global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality, in a document on Tuesday setting out a platform for his papacy and calling for a renewal of the Catholic Church. In it, Pope Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the 'idolatry of money.' "
I've gotta be very caref-- I have been numerous times to the Vatican. It wouldn't exist without tons of money. But, regardless, what this is -- somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him. This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. There's no such -- "unfettered capitalism"? That doesn't exist anywhere. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/27/13, via Media Matters]
Fox's Varney Attacks Pope Francis' Comments On Inequality As "Neo-Socialism." During the December 3 edition of his Fox Business show, host Stuart Varney criticized the pope's remarks on inequality calling them "neo-Socialism":
VARNEY: Right, I thought that the Pope was really very much in favor of the European social model, which is neo-Socialism and which fails its own people. And I was -- I just disagreed with the Pope on that basis. And secondly, to your point, I don't want to mix politics with my spiritual life. When I go to church I don't wish to have my vote touted for by the preacher. I don't want it. I don't want any mention of politics whatsoever, and you know I think you and I agree on this. Astonishing. [Fox Business Network, Varney and Co., 12/3/13]
Breitbart.com's Hayward: "Would The Pope Care To Show Me Some Of That 'Unfettered' Capitalism He's Talking About?" In a November 29 article titled "Pope Francis versus capitalism," John Hayward "respectfully disagee[ed] with Pope Francis" criticism of capitalism:
And would the Pope care to show me some of that "unfettered" capitalism he's talking about? I don't know if that's even a defensible description of the Third World exploitation he usually criticizes. It's absolutely laughable to think "unfettered capitalism" exists anywhere in the Western world. [Breitbart.com, 11/29/13]