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Pope Francis Praises Social Poets and Collective Samaritans for Fighting “Social, Racial, and Macho Injustice”

Speaking of Catholics with good sense, Pope Francis delivered a 38-minute video message to the fourth World Meeting of Popular Movements yesterday. He opened by referring to global social activists (and no, he’s not talking about you fascist insurrectionists out trying to destroy democracy) as “Queridos Poetas Sociales”—Dear Social Poets:

This is what I like to call you, social poets. You are social poets, because you have the ability and the courage to create hop where there appears to be only waste and exclusion. Poetry means creativity, and you create hope. With your hands, you know how to shape the dignity of each person, of families and of society as a whole with land, housing, work, care, and community [emphasis mine; Pope Francis I, video address to IV World Meeting of Popular Movements, translation from Spanish as presented in captions, Vatican News, 2021.10.16].

Social poets, creating hope—what a fine and Christian way to spend one’s days.

Pope Francis exhorts us social poets to keep pursuing justice for the oppressed:

The Meeting brings together activists from the most marginalized communities of society and participants include street vendors, artisans, fishermen, farmers, builders, miners, Christian workers of various trades and professions.

“In thinking of you,” the Pope said, “I believe your dedication is above all a proclamation of hope” reminding us that “we are not condemned to repeat or to build a future based on exclusion and inequality, rejection or indifference; where the culture of privilege is an invisible and irrepressible power and exploitation and abuse are a habitual method of survival” [Benedict Mayaki, “Pope to Popular Movements: You Create Hope and Forge Dignity,” Vatican News, 2021.10.16].

Justice, says Pope Francis, lies in reining in capitalist exploitation, division, and lies:

Pope Francis went on to make a series of nine appeals “in the name of God”. He appealed to big laboratories to liberalize patents and allow every country to have access to the vaccine; to financial groups and credit institutions to waive debts in order to allow poor countries to guarantee the basic needs of their people; to big extractive companies to stop destroying forests, wetland and mountains and polluting rivers and seas; to big corporations to stop monopolistic production and distribution structures that inflate prices and withhold bread from the hungry; and to arms manufacturers and dealers to cease their activity that foments violence and war.

The Holy Father also called on technology giants to stop exploiting the vulnerability of people to gain profit; on the giants of telecommunications to liberalize access to educational material to help educate poor children during quarantine; on the media to stop the logic of post-truth, disinformation, and an unhealthy attraction for scandal and contribute to human fraternity and empathy; and on powerful companies to stop blockades and unilateral sanctions against countries.

“This system, with its relentless logic of profit, is getting out of all human control. It is time to put the brakes on the locomotive, an out-of-control locomotive that is carrying us towards the abyss. There is still time,” the Pope said.

Then, addressing governments and politicians, he urged them to represent their peoples and work for the common good, listening to the people and not only the economic elites who are “so often the mouthpieces of superficial ideologies that evade the real dilemmas of humanity” [Mayaki, 2021.10.16].

Pope Francis also waves off you knuckleheads conflating God, guns, and Trump (that’s the content of a flag I saw on U.S. 281 north of Wolsey the other day, flying disrespectfully above the Stars and Stripes):

I also want to ask all of us religious leaders never to use the name of God to foment wars or coups. Let us stand by the peoples, the workers, the humble, and let us struggle together with them so that integral human development may become a reality. Let us build bridges of love so that the voices of the periphery with their weeping, but also with their singing and joy, provoke not fear but empathy in the rest of society.

And so, I persist in my pestering.

It is necessary to confront together the populist discourses of intolerance, xenophobia, and aporophobia, which is hatred of the poor. Like everything that leads us to indifference, meritocracy and individualism, these narratives only serve to divide our peoples, and to undermine and nullify our poetic capacity, the capacity to dream together.

Sisters and brothers, let us dream together [Pope Francis, 2021.10.16].

Por favor, Papa, ¡persista!

Pope Francis says that dreaming requires us to forgo the docile path of accepting (incorrectly, the Pope insists) that there is no better system than the status quo and choose the difficult path of changing the system toward greater justice. Pope Francis urges us to turn from resignation to action with this remarkable statement about the parable of the Good Samaritan and George Floyd:

In Fratelli tutti I used the parable of the Good Samaritan as the clearest possible Gospel Presentation of this intentional choice. A friend told me that the figure of the Good Samaritan. A friend told me that the figure of the Good Samaritan is associated by a certain cultural industry with a half-wit. This is the distortion that provokes the depressive hedonism that is meant to neutralise the transformative power that people possess, and in particular young people.

Do you know what comes to mind now when, together with popular movements, I think of the Good Samaritan? Do you know what comes to mind? The protests over the death of George Floyd.

It is clear that this type of reaction against the social, racial, or macho [!] injustice can be manipulated or exploited by political machinations or whatever, but the main thing is that, in that protest against this death, there was the Collective Samaritan who is no fool! This movement did not pass by on the other side of the road when it saw the injury to human dignity caused by an abuse of power. The popular movements are not only social poets by also collective Samaritans [Pope Francis, 2021.10.16].

Neither the Good Samaritan, the Collective Samaritan protesting George Floyd’s murder, nor Pope Francis is a half-wit. We must not pass by on the other side of the road when we see abuses of power that injure human dignity. We must approach and challenge those abuses of power to restore human dignity.

Pope Francis knows he’ll catch heck from some quarters for speaking up for social justice, but non carborundum illegitimus est. The Pope understands the criticism comes from the wealthy and powerful trying to keep their wealth and power:

It sometimes surprises me that every time I speak of these principles, some people are astonished, and then the Holy Father gets labeled with a series of epithets that are used to reduce any reflection to mere discrediting adjectives. It doesn’t anger me, it saddens me. It is part of the post-truth plot that seeks to nullify any humanistic search for an alternative to capitalist globalisation. It is part of the throwaway culture, and it is part of the technocratic paradigm [Pope Francis, 2021.10.16].

…and from members of his own Church who don’t understand their own teachings and traditions:

…And it saddens me that some members of the Church get annoyed when we mention these guidelines that belong to the full tradition of the Church. But the Pope must not stop mentioning thus teaching, even if it often annoys people, because what is at stake is not the Pope but the Gospel [Pope Francis, 2021.10.16].

Pope Francis won’t get me to convert, but I find his adherence to and advocacy of principle in the face of criticism admirable and exemplary.

And while I’m neither Catholic nor Republican, I can endorse more of Pope Francis’s Catholic social agenda than I can of the supposedly Christian-based agendae of any noisy Republicans I know here in South Dakota.

18 Comments

  1. ArloBlundt 2021-10-17

    Well…the Big Poppa is an Argentinian and a social democrat of the anti fascist South American persuasion. Unique, not only as a Pope but as a religious leader in the West. He’s a stand up guy with humanitarian views and unapoligetic in his advocacy of the rights of the poor. He;s saddled with a calcified system of governance and disturbing issues dating back a thousand years, but has appointed younger, more “pastoral” Bishops more concerned with the welfare of the people than defending orthodoxy. He is considered a :transitional Pope”. It will be interesting to see who comes next. The Catholic Church is growing fastest in Africa.

  2. Mark Anderson 2021-10-17

    Well, its interesting to see the flaws of capitalism so exposed. Capitalism is the big winner everywhere. China fooled everyone by adopting it when it was supposedly tied to freedom. The next generation will either make it more fair or not. It will be an interesting time. Will it work for the world or is it the ultimate ponzi. Get in early boys and girls and move to the suburbs. In Florida we just build whole community’s without poverty, cities be damned.

  3. Porter Lansing 2021-10-17

    Roman Catholic Church has no business being in South Dakota

    RCC is the church of Latinos and Italians, neither of which have had a foothold history there.

    Germans and Scandinavians are Lutherans not Catholic.

    Child raping Catholic priests, expelled from Eastern cities, were sent out on the prairie to have their way with Indian children, seen by white South Dakotans as less than human.

    That’s the history of why Catholics are in SD and they are the driving force behind all that is wrong and evil in your home towns.

  4. larry kurtz 2021-10-17

    Amen, Mr. Lansing.

    Another Sunday serves up another story of serial savage sinfulness.

    When Ted Hustead the Elder founded Wall Drug in 1931 his family brought catholic clergy to eastern Pennington County who then abused and exploited American Indian children.

    The leader of the Roman Church is slowly cleaning house of predators but is taking heat from Republicans for his stance on curbing human-induced climate change and from progressives for his decision to canonize colonizers accused of raping children.

    The international crime syndicate that is the Roman Catholic Church is funneling money from parishes and paying settlements or hush money for the sins of predatory priests. As lawsuits and the US Department of Justice swamp the religionist cabal the future of the pedophile cult isn’t looking very rosy.

    Pope Frank, the head of the Roman church even released a diktat stating that sect’s revulsion of capital punishment putting Attorney General, Joe Boever’s killer, former altar boy and suspected incel Jason Ravnsborg’s soul at risk to eternal damnation. But $20 says Jason would just love to dispatch a handcuffed death row inmate with a shotgun blast to the abdomen just like someone did for Rich Benda.

  5. Mark Anderson 2021-10-17

    Jezz Porter and Larry, at least they have always liked sculpture. Of a limited kind of course, but some of my best friends are Catholic. What about De Smet? The Catholic Church has been in South Dakota from the beginning of the state Porter and the Scandinavians have pretty much abandoned the Lutherans. I’m not going to tell the Garrigans that they are evil, nope sorry, won’t do it.

  6. ArloBlundt 2021-10-17

    Well, Porter paints with a pretty wide brush, though I won’t argue the absoluteism and chronic pedophilia found in many orders of priests. Remeber the nuns. They brought a high quality of education 9give them this: they taught reading and math, very well) established hospitals and colleges. Know I’ll never convince a Lutheran of anything positive about the Catholics but among other things, we built the railroads, dug the ditches and established small business in small towns…and established the Democratic Party in South Dakota. You’ve overlooked the Irish, the Luxemburgers, the Belgians and the Bohemians as people who settled South Dakota.

  7. Yvonne 2021-10-17

    Ahh, Catholic, meaning “universal”. Hence, a religion set in place during the 1st century after all the 12 disciples had been either killed or died a horrible death.
    After the disciples, up rose its ugly head were the occults, then came alongside the “crusaders” because people were looking for anyone to protect them…hence the knights templars. A catholic born sect. These band of giant well adorned form of militia were paid by those seeking protection as they travelled from coast to coast. They gave all their wealth to this templar sect for protection and once they reached their destination were to be given a portion of their assets back. Hence the beginning of the first world banking system. But only 40 % of these peoples made it to their destination. They either died naturally or were killed.
    This meant 60% of their prepaid wealth signed over for safe keeping was acquired by the catholic led sect-the knights templar. Thus, the catholic sect becoming the wealthiest in the world holders of land, gold, silver.
    Fast forward, 18th century, the Rothchilds family wealth is born. Each son was placed worldwide where their wealth expanded even further, except Russia.

    In 1776 the Rothschilds set forth the plan to excell further towards a new world order. The familys commandment, so to speak was that no outsider was to partake in any form of the wealth machine and to never give an account of the extent of the assets owned by the family. To this day, no one…no one other than the Rothschilds know that figure or the value.
    This wealth is used to promote wars oversees giving funds to both sides to keep the world vetting against each other…constant strife all the while working stock markets to their benefit. Thus, one major benefit..the bank of England became owned by the Rothchilds.
    Albert Einstein wrote, “The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and makes its tool of them.”
    Today, 20th century, a cartel of international bankers and industrialists based mostly in western Europe and North America. The names of certain families persist over long periods of time. Some of the most notorious are the Rothchilds. Rockefellers, Morgan, Lazard, Warburg, Schroeder and Schiff.
    These families are founders of: the Council of Foreign Relations 1921 (since 1930 controlled by Rockefeller), the Bilderberg 1954, the Club if Rome-1968 Rockefeller, the Trilateral Commission 1973 Rockefeller, the Free Masons(Rothschilds ) Rotary YMCA.

    The central bank of New York is owned by the Rothchilds which is better known as the federal reserve. The federal reserve (we are led to believe is this country’s federal reserve but is not) is a privately owned central bank owned by the Rothchilds.
    David Rockefeller, in 1991 said, “It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The super natural sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practices in past centuries. ” He added, “…Some even believe we[Rockefeller family] are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure-One World, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and am proud of it … ”
    Rockefeller memoir page 405.

    Congressman Larry P McDonald, 1976, killed in a Korean 747 airplane–shot down by the Soviet Union said, ” … The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to create a one-world government combining super capitalism and Communism under the same tent, all under their control….Do I mean conspiracy? Yes, I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent…”
    Soviets killing all those passengers just to get to this senator. Amazing. Huh?
    In Georgia is a concrete wall sculpture. The first commandment states, “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000.” And, how do you do that? Create and keep the wars going and create pandemics. Wow, unbelievable! Sound familiar? It’s been Planned…too many people.
    My point, here, the prophets Isaiah, Daniel, Jeremiah and Revelation have prophesied and most of those prophecies have been fulfilled. The final prophecy is yet to come and we are now living within it.

    Yes, the Pope is correct, the true gospel taught by Christ in the 1st century was at stake then and remains at stake to this date. Search your own heart and spiritual conscience; it is the most significant thing Christ left to humanity.
    A new world order preparing the world for the one world leader…prophecy fulfilled!

  8. Joe 2021-10-18

    Yvonne, that tinfoil bonnet is not a good look for you. Yikes.

  9. Yvonne 2021-10-18

    Joe, bless you…a tin foil hat sounds like part of a Halloween costume I once wore in my youthful days.
    “He who has an ear, let them hear what the spirit says… “. Revelation 2:7.

  10. larry kurtz 2021-10-18

    The End Times fulfill a prophesy and welcome a supernatural extraterrestrial to create a one-world government. No higher being could be anything but predatory. It’s dystopian fantasy run amok.

  11. Porter Lansing 2021-10-18

    Mark and Arlo’s contrivances are merely distractions from the issue.

    Extremist Catholics (Schoenbeck, Troy Jones, Pat Powers, Jeremiah Murphy etc.) are pulling the strings of power in SD.

    They’re responsible for writing the laws that forbid prosecution of child molesting Priests and the church that ignored Priestly sins.

    It’s these radical religionists that are behind the draconian assault on women’s rights and their lackies (the born-agains) fall in line so as to attempt ascension to some meaningful position, despite their general disregard for others.

  12. larry kurtz 2021-10-18

    Without butts in the pews the Rapid City Diocese even received almost $400,000 in aid from the Trump Organization.

    Bernie v. Blue Cloud Abbey was one of several cases that ended up before the South Dakota Supreme Court alleging church officials at the time covered up serial sexual abuse taking place at the compound. After helping to broker the sale of the abbey Watertown member of the criminal cult, Lee Schoenbeck, aided by fellow cultist and lobbyist Jeremiah Murphy, forced the perverted South Dakota Legislature to pass laws covering up countless crimes committed by their sect by enacting statutes of limitations.

    In South Dakota at least thirty two members of the Church of the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers have been credibly accused of preying on children and vulnerable adults but don’t expect Joe Boever’s killer, Jason Ravnsborg, Attorney General, incel and former altar boy to take on both South Dakota Dioceses. In Sioux Falls cleric Don DeGrood replaced Paul Swain to lord over some of the slush fund that buys silence from Ravnsborg and South Dakota’s depraved legislature.

  13. ArloBlundt 2021-10-18

    Well…its tough being a Catholic, always has been. We have a tendency to end up tied to a stake and burned. Its an ancient institution which in its modern incarnation is beset by the need for fundamental systemic change…but…that’s the institution. Catholics themselves, the Universal Church, are very diverse in their religious and political views and are far from monolithic. When you think of Catholics, think “Here comes everybody.” They are far from a single mind on any issue, from Virgin Birth to Abortion, from civil rights to national defense. If we’re running the international banking system, don’t tell the Irish…they’ll want some too. When you think Catholic, think not only of the right to life wing but also the Rastafarians, Charismatic Mexicans, and the rich culture of the Native American Church. The Church is growing fastest in the United States among African Americans and world wide it is growing fastest in Africa. It will be a minority church, worldwide,by 2050.

  14. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-10-18

    I’m just old and stupid enough to believe all religions are equal and the same.

  15. mike from iowa 2021-10-18

    I believe all religions are inherently bad and dangerous to world peace, except for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I would gladly toss FSM under the bus if it meant the rest of the world’s religions followed suit in advance.

  16. Porter Lansing 2021-10-18

    That’s BS, Arlo

    It ain’t “tough” being a Catholic AND Catholics aren’t victims.

    The Roman Catholic Church is a classic bully and the faithful are fully engaged in false victimhood, nearly as phony as the MAGA victimhood.

    The church promotes the lies Arlo is repeating and uses it’s people like pawns in a worldwide game of deception.

  17. ArloBlundt 2021-10-18

    Porter…nice visiting with an adherent of the Anti-Catholic, Anti-Masonic Know Nothing Party. Keep the fire burning for Millard Fillmore, your candidate for President in 1856.

  18. Mark Anderson 2021-10-18

    Well, I will admit I didn’t like the Catholics shutting down the follow up to Phillip Pullmans the Golden Compass. That’s not the worst thing they’ve done to kids. It’s the priest and nun no sex thing that’s the problem. Just put that in any other job description and see how many candidates you’d get. Other than that every religion is full of it, but in Merica we honor all of them and hate atheists. That’s slowly turning around too. I do have very catholic tastes, not Catholic of course but I was raised Lutheran, in fact my picture is in a time capsule in the corner of Our Saviors in Highmore so I’ll go straight, I mean forward to heaven when the time comes. I always thought that Catholics had it easy, the forgiveness thing while as a Lutheran my chains were Ebenezer sized. Oh well at least I wasn’t a Methodist.

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