Saturday, February 20, 2016

Hating Catholics is wrong

Memes against Cardinal Pell and Pope Francis are many. As memes are, they simplify issues. And they miss things.

It is hard to credit it from the memes, but Cardinal Pell is a good, powerful man who has not done any wrong. He holds the third highest position of the Catholic Church. He initiated protections for victims of Pedophilia in Australia. Pedophiles tend to abuse process and law too, and by smearing Pell, they protect their own. And some victims become abusers. And the Royal Commission into institutionalised response to pedophilia does not seem serious about its charter, but seems to be targeting Catholics in general and Pell in particular. As with the NSW ICAC, judicial incompetence raises serious questions of the worth of the judicial institution. Right now, Pell is innocent and there will not be an adverse finding against him for some time, probably never.

Cardinal Pell endorsed the selection of Pope Francis. Francis came from Catholicism's strongest left wing bastion of Argentina. Only Francis was viewed as a conservative when he was Cardinal. Everything is relative. Francis stopping the conversion of Jews is a good thing. When Pell said that Francis would die in office, in contrast to Benedict, Francis declared he might go early too. Francis is following a path of unity for Catholicism. He is trying to heal what is fractured. Francis' clumsy extreme left declarations on Global Warming and on refugees is an example of that attempt at healing. Only, it is wrong to kill people who want to migrate to a better life, and so strong borders are far more compassionate than the left wing dream of open borders. In taking a political stance, the Pope is joining a large number of people who are very wrong. That is no reason to hate him. But the Pope needs to see that the path to healing Catholicism is also the enlightened path that doesn't steal a billion dollars a day from the world's poorest, or kill those who want a better life.
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