Donald Trump’s papal visit was mercifully brief but still historic — as Jimmy Kimmel put it, a “holy day, or maybe an a-holey day.” During their conversation, the Holy Father tried to persuade the American president to take up the causes of the poor and the environment. “Unfortunately Trump is only in year 70 of his 100-year deal with the Devil right now,” according to Kimmel, “and it has a no-trade clause…”
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.
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.