Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pope's Popularity Plunge

I cannot say for m'self that the Pope is never fair game for criticism. Let's face it, in 2000 years there have been a few shall we say 'difficult' Popes who met considerable opposition. Some of that 'difficult' was spot-on and a result of reading the celestial Riot Act (...with the powers invested in me by... - insert King, President or Deity here -.... I order you to Cease and Desist....) to very nasty folk.  But some was quite justified as the Popes in the frame were less holy than one would expect or want.

Some managed to get themselves involved directly and indirectly in matters of managing the World in a way which was not quite what Christ had in mind.

The jury of history is out on the present Pope well before all the evidence is in. He has only been in the job for a short time, watched from the sidelines by an unusually retiring and retired Pope who is seen by many as being the better man of God, and yet he has put his foot into many a worldly puddle already.

But I hold, as most Good Catholics do (not that I claim to be a Good one, m'self, what with my track record of sins and long-term, really quite painful  punishments), that the Pope is right and infallible on matters of Theological Truth, and all other opinions he might have are down to him in the Italian-Argentinian square and not Him in Heaven.

Nevertheless what the man says has moment down here amongst the great mass of the unwashed feet.

The present Pope Francis is seen as too frank for many people's liking, on too many worldly matters, especially contentious ones which some see coming directly from Satan's little helpers, the Gaia crowd.

Jo Nova had a few things to say today in the Oz Room, mainly about what Americans think. Hmmmm.
Pope’s popularity fall 17%
— preaching the climate change religion not so popular?
Pope Francis put out his pro-climate encyclical eight weeks ago, getting mass media attention, but the latest Gallop poll shows the people were not so enthused:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pope Francis’ favorability rating in the U.S. has returned to where it was when he was elected pope. It is now at 59%, down from 76% in early 2014. The pontiff’s rating is similar to the 58% he received from Americans in April 2013, soon after he was elected pope.

Is this about “climate change” — the encyclical has 245 paragraphs, 16 mentions of “climate”, 7 mentions of “carbon”, and more than 100 mentions of the “environment”. 
Moreso it reported around the globe as a “coup” on the climate issue by groups who normally think the Pope is wrong, silly and anachronistic. 
Furthermore,  the biggest change has come among Catholics, Protestants, and especially conservatives. But he’s less popular among liberals too.

The drop in the pope’s favorable rating is driven by a decline among Catholics and political conservatives, two groups that have been ardent supporters of the modern papacy. 
Seventy-one percent of Catholics say they have a favorable image of Francis, down from 89% last year.
h/t to Heartland who deserve some credit here, having sent a team to the Vatican to draw attention to this issue.

The poll was a random survey of 1,009 people in the US. The margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The question:  “Please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Pope Francis — or if you have never heard of him”.

Did everyone miss the papal decree against Carbon trading?

During the orgy of papal-enthusiasm I noted that few people mentioned that the Pope was against carbon trading. Not the preferred prophesy?
The same Encyclical also mentioned many an issue that those same liberals (that is socialists, atheists, feminists, many Protestants and other assorted Godless useful idiots of the Prince of Lies)  would take to the street protests about. 

The list of Sins that they embrace got a fine drubbing, but heck, they are always very selective in their praise anyhow.

So what did he say that gets the Faithful upset? 
190. Here too, it should always be kept in mind that “environmental protection cannot be assured solely on the basis of financial calculations of costs and benefits. The environment is one of those goods that cannot be adequately safeguarded or promoted by market forces”.[134] Once more, we need to reject a magical conception of the market, which would suggest that problems can be solved simply by an increase in the profits of companies or individuals. Is it realistic to hope that those who are obsessed with maximizing profits will stop to reflect on the environmental damage which they will leave behind for future generations? Where profits alone count, there can be no thinking about the rhythms of nature, its phases of decay and regeneration, or the complexity of ecosystems which may be gravely upset by human intervention. Moreover, biodiversity is considered at most a deposit of economic resources available for exploitation, with no serious thought for the real value of things, their significance for persons and cultures, or the concerns and needs of the poor.

The Pope was not able to explain why “market forces” were not the answer. 
He didn’t mention that sometimes free market forces work just fine with environmental problems, but they don’t when it’s a ubiquitous molecule central to life on Earth. 
In this case a free market is an impossible fantasy because most players can’t play — they are dogs, cats, yeast or the Pacific Ocean. Also it isn’t a real free market, because no one is “free” not to buy and governments control both supply and demand.

Nice one Jo. Have a drink.

One can also add that we do not have a 'free market' or the 'Capitalism' that so many on the left have lifted onto the altar for sacrifice. The offering has been burned to a crisp a long time back by regulation and government manipulation. Crony capitalism is as fine a target for criticism as the Pope is, but let us get our terms and concepts clear before we light the fires. Take aim properly.

Talking of taking aim.....

The Pope has also recently mentioned guns as being nasty things on his 'sinful' list. Hmmmmmm

It may well be the case that some weapon manufacturers are not even slightly Christian, but even the Apostles wore side-arms. They were swords in those days rather than more complex weapons. These modern swords can be found in such places as the hands and armories of the Papal Guard.

"Is that a persuasive argument you have there
or are you happy to see me"
By golly. Where did that Cardinal find such a persuasive argument?

Ah, yes. 

Some care is needed with loaded words.



  1. I find myself saying he's a little TOO political, for a pope, but I have to remind myself that The Vatican is it's own sovereign state and thereby recognized by international law, so I guess he does have that right and he certainly is working it to its fullest.

    Some things he says, I like (i.e., his condemnation of American organized crime as sin), other things, such as a few of the things you mentioned, I don't.

    Whatever the case, he certainly is a game-changer. When he formally recognized Palestinian nations, he drew criticism from both the left AND right here in the US - it caused them both to rethink their own platforms a bit (which isn't necessarily a bad thing sometimes)

    The right criticized him for not solely supporting Israel, and left/the White House asked him to butt out, as religion and politics should be separate. (Um, I'm pretty sure religion and government aren't separate in the sovereign state that is the vatican, perhaps they forgot to remind themselves as I do. Leave it to the US government to assume everyone else does/should do things as we do ;)


    1. Some good points there, m'dear. Most people overlook the Vatican Sovereignty issue.

      The climate issue is contentious and he could very easily placed the emphasis on the 'stewardship' obligation rather than dabbling in the pseudo-science, and he could have acknowledged that 'capitalist' societies have a far better track record of environmental care than any other economic system to date.

      As for the Palestinian issue, he could also have given recognition to the repeated attempts by nations of goodwill to establish a Palestinian State and even the Israeli efforts in that same regard, only to have, repeatedly, the Palestinian leadership simply refuse.

      If the Pope is to engage in secular matters he must, IMHO, acquaint himself with the truth of the situation rather than simply be pulled along by the ear by biased advisors.

  2. Yes, that's exactly what I mean, you put better words to my thoughts - focusing on stewardship rather than picking a clear side to support politically, might've been more appropriate and better received.

    Not that I'm against the Pope supporting science, many people who are unaware that science and faith can coexist are also unaware the Catholic church used to be at the forefront of scientific discovery (Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon) - they actually helped perfect our scientific method - it's just supporting a hypothesis which others can find flaws in, isn't doing that :/

    I personally don't need studies to believe we are damaging our environment with what we put in it anyway - trash in, trash out is my common-sense hypothesis.

    I do fully agree with you about the gun issue, tho, and laughed - those bodyguards wouldn't get very far protecting the pope armed with crucifixes : D

    Have a good Sunday, Amfortas. I'm stuck working this weekend, but thank you for providing some stimulating breakroom/watercooler conversation :)

    Peace be with you,



Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..