Pat Buchanan: Papal neutrality in the culture wars?
"The nuncio said the Holy Father wants bishops with pastoral sensitivity, shepherds who know the smell of the sheep."
They chose Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., who has a master's degree in social work, to succeed Archbishop Timothy Dolan whom Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times describes thus:
Yet here is further confirmation His Holiness seeks to move the Catholic Church to a stance of non-belligerence, if not neutrality, in the culture war for the soul of the West.
In America, the family has disintegrated. Forty percent of working-class white children are born out of wedlock, as are 53 percent of Hispanic children, and 73 percent of black children. Kids from broken homes are many times more likely to drop out of school, take drugs, join gangs, commit crimes, end up in prison, lose their souls, and produce yet another generation of lost souls.
But is teenage unemployment really a graver moral evil than the slaughter of 3,500 unborn every day in a land we used to call "God's Country"?
But what is the special expertise of the church in coping with teenage unemployment? Has the Curia done good scholarly work on the economic impact of the minimum wage?
Our civilization is being de-Christianized. Popular culture is a running sewer. Promiscuity and pornography are pandemic. In Europe, the churches empty out as the mosques fill up. In America, Bible reading and prayer are outlawed in schools, as Christian displays are purged from public squares.
The pope, says Goodstein, refers to proselytizing as "solemn nonsense." But to proselytize is to convert nonbelievers.
And when Christ admonished his apostles, "Go forth and teach all nations,"
Pope Francis comes out of the Jesuits.
Hence, one wonders: Did those legendary Jesuits like St. Isaac Jogues and the North American Martyrs make a mistake proselytizing and baptizing, when they could have been working on youth unemployment among the Mohawks?
Does this not reflect the moral relativism of Prince Hamlet when he said to Rosencrantz, "there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so?"
"Who am I to judge," Pope Francis says of homosexuals.
Well, he is pope. And even the lowliest parish priest has to deliver moral judgments in a confessional.
Especially the atheists, one imagines.
While Pope Francis has not altered any Catholic doctrines in his interviews and disquisitions, he is sowing seeds of confusion among the faithful, a high price to pay, even for "skyrocketing" poll numbers.
But then those were different Jesuits. And that was long ago.