In an interview that lasted more than an hour with Spanish newspaper El Pais and conducted just as Donald Trump was being sworn in as the 45th U.S. president on Friday, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church warned against the rise of populist leaders like Adolf Hitler.
Aah, ’tis the season for family, friends, eggnog, chipmunks singing Christmas carols — and all-out, no-mercy, blow-’em-all-to-hell war. Not war like in Afghanistan. No, no — this is the far right’s God-awful “War on Christmas.”
“Let us also allow ourselves to be challenged by the children of today’s world, who are not lying in a cot caressed with the affection of a mother and father, but rather suffer the squalid mangers that devour dignity: hiding underground to escape bombardment, on the pavements of a large city, at the bottom of a boat over-laden with immigrants,” said Pope Francis in his Christmas Eve homily.
It is a story that we can imagine transpiring in our own time, among the Central American migrants, homeless in a California border town, or among the Syrian refugees, freezing and hungry in northern Greece. The analogy is clearly lost on politicians like Trump, who not only assure us that we need not concern ourselves with their fate, but that we must coldly spurn small children for the sake of our own comfort and safety.
“One thing is true. I believe that in almost all religions, there is always a small fundamentalist group. We have them, too,” said Francis. The pope added that people who chose to join extremist groups, such as ISIS, make such choices because they “have been left empty” of ideals, work and values.
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders was invited to the Vatican, but not by Pope Francis. It turns out the Vermont senator was invited to speak at a conference held by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, an academy founded by the Vatican.
The 260-page document, the product of several years of debate within the Roman Catholic hierarchy, advocates for flexibility, tolerance and compassion in the church.
Conservatives worry that behind the gentle facade lies a dangerous reformer who is diluting teachings on moral issues while focusing on social problems.
Colbert: Mr. Trump, Mr. Pope — I believe that’s his formal name — is it possible that you guys are fighting because you have so much in common?”
Meeting could be a landmark step toward healing the 1,000-year-old rift between the Western and Eastern branches of Christianity.
The Vatican is backing away from the controversy, saying that Kim Davis was one of “several dozen” people that Pope Francis met — and he wasn’t the one who invited her.