Fox's Varney Attacks Pope Francis' Comments On Inequality As "Neo-Socialism"
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From the December 3 edition of Fox Business' Varney & Company:
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STUART VARNEY: I go to church to save my soul, it's got nothing to do with my vote. Pope Francis has linked the two. He's offered direct criticism of a specific political system. He's characterized, negatively, that system. I think he wants to influence my politics.
VARNEY: Apparently, not everyone liked my take on the Pope from last week, Salon.com calling it "the worst right-wing statement of the week." Judge Napolitano is still here.
ANDREW NAPOLITANO: From this traditionalist, pre-Vatican 2 Roman Catholic to his dear Anglican friend, I am with you 1000 percent. The Pope, the Holy Father, and the mission of the Church is to save my soul, not my pocket book.
VARNEY: Well said. I was making two points. I disagree with the Pope, who doesn't like free market capitalism. I think free market capitalism is a great liberator. Individual liberty is best for us collectively, that was in point one.
NAPOLITANO: And no system has alleviated more poor people into the middle class than free market capitalism. No system in history.
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.
NAPOLITANO: Yes we do agree on this. Look, the Pope is competent to teach the Church and the world on matters of faith and morals, and he can talk about social justice, but when the Pope says it is the obligation of the government to take from the rich and give to the poor because that's the only way to alleviate poverty, he doesn't know what he's talking about.
VARNEY: Now, you are a Catholic, I am an Anglican. Sitting here with us is I believe a Southern Baptist, "something like that"?
NAPOLITANO: And we all agree!?!
CHARLES PAYNE: My wife is a Catholic too, you know, but this is to me the bigger issue, guys, is this is how you win popularity in the world these days.
PAYNE: This is a Pope who has come in, he's hit the ground running, he's extraordinarily popular. And you know we saw a rejection of capitalism in Chile, we saw a rejection of capitalism in New York City. This is how you become very popular with young people, so I think there is a larger more frightening point out there.
NAPOLITANO: You know, you mention young people. The Pope was asked recently, what is the worst problem in the world. What could it be? War, genocide, starvation, murder, sectarian violence, his answer: youth unemployment. Now that is a problem, but it is hardly the worst problem in the world nor is it a problem that the church is competent to address.
VARNEY: Why does the church stand so much in favor of a failed model?
NAPOLITANO: I don't know.
VARNEY: I mean, Europe has been plunged into despondency, despair, mass unemployment and a total lack of prosperity.
NAPOLITANO: And going in the wrong direction!
VARNEY: Going in the wrong direction. Why would the Pope do that? You're a Catholic, explain yourself.
NAPOLITANO: I can't get into his heart. I wish he would stick to faith and morals, on which he is very sound and traditional. But when he gets into these other things like, which is the worst problem, how many angels are on the head of a pin, he comes up with answers that please the crowd, but do not warm the soul.