A Hit and a Miss for Pope Francis

Pope Francis Graffiti

(Yeah, yeah. It’s another post about Pope Francis, but nobody is being forced to read it.)

The trip that Pope Francis made to the US-Mexican border resulted in both a hit and a miss for the pontiff.

The hit came when Francis said something in favor of birth control.

From The Hill: “Pope Francis suggested Wednesday that people could use contraception if they are trying to avoid getting pregnant because of the Zika virus despite the Catholic Church’s long-standing opposition to birth control.”

Francis is correct to not condemn the use of birth control, since the Bible itself doesn’t condemn the general use of it. Indeed, the only time birth control is mentioned in the Bible is in a case involving a Levirate marriage.

Sure, the Tanakh (a.k.a. Old Testament) describes children as being a blessing from God, but, as an elderly church woman once said, “Rain is also a blessing from God, but when we get too much of it, we wear rubbers.”

Meanwhile, the pontiff’s miss came when he suggested that it would be wrong to prevent anyone from crossing the US-Mexican border, as if doing so would be ungodly.

One of the better responses to the pontiff’s suggestion came from U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who is himself a Roman Catholic.

As it turns out, there is precedent for building a wall in order to control who enters an area, and that precedent is found in the Tanakh book of Nehemiah. Nowhere does the Bible require uncontrolled border crossings, just as nowhere does the Bible condemn all use of birth control.

Christians need not fear rejecting teachings of a religious leader or a church that aren’t supported by the Bible. After all, the New Testament teaches that salvation comes through faith in Messiah Jesus alone, not through membership in any particular branch of the universal Church.


Side Note: One of the positive things about Pope Francis is the fact that he is willing to do things that his predecessors didn’t do, as seen in his visit to Congress in 2015.

Surely, Pope Francis would like the above gag if he knew about it . . . and, yes, you can reply with the joke from the movie Airplane!

"I think he said something much softer than was originally reported by the media"
The Pharisee From Rome
  • Retired military

    Hmmm. I dont see where Pope Francis said that someone who supports abortion or gets an abortion is not Christian. But building a wall makes you a nonchristian. The same way owning stock in a gun company and calling yourself Christian is hypocritical. Maybe he should stick to speeches along the line of Leaders of countries shouldnt murder their citizens, cavort with drug lords, repress their citizen’s rights and things like that.

    • jim_m

      This Pope, far more than any of his recent predecessors, is a political Pope. He spent much of his life hobnobbing with politicians in Argentina and South America. He has spent much of his time as pontiff issuing political statements on immigration and global warming and has eschewed traditional issues of morality that his predecessors engaged with.

      Sadly, our resident Catholic cannot see this and equates any comment recognizing this obvious fact as an attack on his faith (which is why some of us claim that he worships, not Christ, but the Pope himself).

      He also follows up any such criticism with condemnations of the other person’s soul and claims that they are Hell bound for their beliefs.

      Compounding this is his inability to address reasonable questions and deleting civil and constructive posts simply because he has a heart filled with hate toward the commenters.

      • “our resident Catholic”

        jim, this website has more than writer who is Catholic.
        What you mean is “the Wizbang writer who promotes Catholicism the most often”.

        • Jim-M12345

          Fair enough.

          I would have replied earlier but Rick rice has banned me from all of Wizbang

          • Commander_Chico

            Too much banning going on. Der Sturmbannführer has set a bad precedent.

          • jim_m

            Rick banned me for challenging his accusation that RM had slandered the pope. I asked to specific examples and that if Rick could not provide them that he owed RM an apology.

            Such is what gets Rick to ban you from the entire site.

            However, the injustice has been corrected.

          • And yet you are still here…

          • Commander_Chico

            Twitter banned RS McCain that was bullshit.

          • jim_m

            Twitter’s stock price is tanking. Like many companies, they have gone the SJW route and they are losing their business. Serves them right.

          • And yet you remain…

    • jim_m

      Actually, Francis stated that abortion is murder. Rather than address the moral and ethical thinking of an individual who might consider abortion and take up the much needed task of moral suasion to help people choose a different path, this Pope chooses to ignore abortion as it is in his view a criminal matter and not so much a moral one.

      It’s a tremendous cop out on Francis’ part and demonstrates his unwillingness to engage on moral issues while expending the moral capital of the church on political issues such as immigration and global warming.

    • jim_m

      The Pope recently confessed that the Vatican is a cesspool of unChristian thought and behavior. Certainly the local Pharisee will have an excuse for this.

      • Would love to see the links substantiating your words or the meme…

        • jim_m

          So if the Peronist claims that the weapons industry and people who invest in weapons manufacture (as he claimed in June of 2015) are not Christian then how could someone who owns weapons be considered so?

          TURIN, Italy (Reuters) – People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said on Sunday.

          Francis issued his toughest condemnation to date of the weapons industry at a rally of thousands of young people at the end of the first day of his trip to the Italian city of Turin…

          “It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it?” he said to applause.

          There was no claim that you could trust in God but still want to protect yourself.

          Oh, and at the same time he implied that the allies were complicit in the Holocaust. Screw him.

          • The context and audience to which those words (regarding weapons industry) were given are explanatory and substantive to those of us who understand CST.

            Again, you’ll need to provide links to your holocaust claim.

          • jim_m

            It was in the link provided. Obviously you did not follow it or read it in its entirety.

          • Or I saw nothing there that would suggest what you claim.

          • Scalia

            The article says,

            He spoke of the “tragedy of the Shoah,” using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.

            “The great powers had the pictures of the railway lines that brought the trains to the concentration camps like Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody. Why didn’t they bomb (the railway lines)?”

            Sounds accusatory to me.

          • You believe as Jim does that Pope Francis is accusing the allies of being complicit in the holocaust because he asks a reasonable question?

          • Scalia

            I’m commenting on the article. If the report is accurate and if the translation is correct, that’s exactly what the Pope is saying. You don’t make a comment like that in front of a crowd of young people and not leave with them the impression that the Allies willingly allowed the Holocaust to continue. It again goes back to what I consider irresponsible comments made by Francis. He either needs a better adviser to help him understand the effect of his words or he is saying these types of things with the full knowledge of their effect.

            I speak publicly on a weekly basis. Great care must be exercised by a public speaker lest his words be misconstrued. Even if many comments are technically defensible, I routinely avoid making them because I know that they will at least give the impression that I am saying the opposite of what I intend. People of good will generally grant latitude to speakers (on the principle of charitable interpretation), and I am not looking for the devil in every one of Francis’ comments, but this pope often makes comments that require extensive filtering and explanation from apologists that would be totally unnecessary if he had exercised more care on what he said. I know you disagree with me in that regard. You stridently defend every single statement he makes, but this comment about the Holocaust is clearly accusatory, whether or not one agrees with what he implies. That’s all I’m commenting on.

          • I don’t stridently defend every single statement he makes… I recently published a post about how his statements on contraception and the Zika virus need further clarification. So you are clearly in the wrong here.

            As you appear to be on this particular issue unless you decide to cite the alleged carelessness of a number of Jewish leaders, to include Benjamin Netanyahu, Menachem Begin and Golda Meir. Or our own Secretary of State in 1977, Cyrus Vance, President Clinton in 1993 or President Bush in 2008.

            This is, as criticism of this Pope usually is, ignorant at best, malicious at its worst.

          • Scalia

            Rick, I don’t read your posts at Brutally Honest. My comment in that regard is restricted to Wizbang.

            Moreover, my comment about the Pope’s statement on the Holocaust is restricted to your denial that the Pope was implicating the Allies. He is implicating them whether or not one agrees with the statement itself. Since you denied that implication, my remark about his carelessness accepted that denial arguendo, meaning, of course, that if the Pope did not intend to implicate the Allies, then he should have chosen different words. It is careless and irresponsible to make comments that have the opposite effect of what one intends. That’s a given regardless who is doing to talking. Since you now appear agree that the Pope was implicating the Allies in the Holocaust, I withdraw my objection.

            EDIT: And I would say the same with respect to every leader in your link. It is legitimate to ask about the bombing, but it is not legitimate to deny the implication of that question.

          • I think asking the question that was asked does not imply, as Jim alluded ignorantly, that the Pope was suggesting the allies were complicit in the Holocaust. One can make strategic mistakes, particularly in hindsight, as to warfare without being complicit with the enemy. You want to deny that, do so. Otherwise, you’re playing semantic games here I guess to show solidarity with Jim who has apparently disappeared.

            As to not reading my posts at Brutally Honest… you’re apparently not reading them at Wizbang either. That post was published here.

          • Scalia

            You linked to Brutally Honest. I missed the one here, so I stand corrected and apologize for the blanket statement.

            I’m playing no semantic game. Go ahead and disagree with me all you want, but don’t accuse me of playing games. The question is clearly (to me) accusatory. The reasons why the Allies didn’t bomb the railway lines is a matter of historical record. To continue to ask the question is either due to ignorance (in which case the question is irresponsible) or it is because one doesn’t accept the answer. If one doesn’t accept the answer (which is why it is still being asked), then there is no logical alternative but to interpret the question as accusatory. Again, the question is legitimate, the denial of its implication is not.

          • No need to apologize for missing the post here at Wizbang. But I continue to think games are being played here. You are suggesting that the leaders to which I linked earlier were all irresponsible… and this simply because you think they’re each being accusatory and that in some way, as Jim first alluded, this communicates that the allies were complicit in the execution of the Holocaust.

            Ok.

            Whatever.

          • Scalia

            They are only irresponsible if they ask the question in ignorance of the well-documented answer, or if they ask the question and then deny the implication of that question. If a leader asks that question and stands by the accusation (as well s/he should), then nobody is being irresponsible.

            Again, to ask the question with full knowledge of the historical answer is to deny the answer. And if one denies the answer (diversion of resources for more pressing strategic targets and fear of increased Axis retaliation against civilians), then one is clearly implying something nefarious. I think that’s exegesis 101.

          • I think it’s a song and dance you’re defaulting to because you cannot allow yourself to admit that you’re being obtuse with the Pope as to his question.

            But again, you’re entitled to singing and dancing. Sing and dance away.

          • Scalia

            You’re not addressing my point and are attempting to belittle it by accusing me of playing games or doing a song & dance. I don’t think that’s arguing in good faith, Rick.

            Walk it through with me, please. The Allies were informed of a Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz in which predominantly Jews were being systematically murdered. They were asked to do something about it, but since that area was not controlled by the Allies, strategic bombing would have been the only militarily feasible option. The Allies (this was 1944, Normandy, full-scale Western Europe offensive, strategic bombing of Axis industries to degrade their war effort), so they declined by citing more pressing military objectives and the fear that Axis reprisal would be more intense against the Jews.

            Now, 50-60 years later world leaders continue to ask why the Allies didn’t bomb the railway lines leading to Auschwitz. Why did they ask that, Rick? The only rational answer is that they don’t accept the reasons why the Allies declined to bomb said railway line. If one accepts the answer, one doesn’t continue to question why no bombing occurred. In other words, the question implicitly accuses the Allies of lying about their reasons for not bombing Auschwitz and 50-60 years after the fact requests that the REAL answer be given. If the “real” answer has to be lied about with a cover story of strategic bombing and fear of retaliation, then something nefarious is afoot. That’s standard logic, Rick. It doesn’t matter if Bush or Francis asks the question. At least stand by the implication of that question.

          • We’re arguing past each other. Jim used the word complicit. You’re using the word implicate. I have no problem with the word implicate. It’s easy to question in hindsight Allied strategery as to the execution of the war. And clearly, many leaders have done so in the decades since the event (as I linked and have shown). And of course, when you question the strategery, you’re implicating those who were responsible meaning you’re questioning their decision… but no one but Jim is suggesting that this means Allied leaders were complicit with the Holocaust. Or more accurately, Jim is accusing the Pope of making that charge which is ludicrous. It’s complete foolishness.

            There can be an implication that wrong decisions were made and then there’s the charge that they were wilfully made so that the Jews would continue to be slaughtered.

            Jim was/is accusing the Pope of the latter. There is absolutely no evidence of that. None. Except in the minds of those who hate this Pope or criticize him from a basis of ignorance.

          • Scalia

            And I contend that the question asked in that manner does far more than offer suggestions about wartime strategy. When one calls out historically disfavored and persecuted groups and rejects the reasons why those groups were not helped or rescued, the logical implication is that the Allies didn’t care if they were killed. If one has the means to help somebody being murdered and if one is lying about the reasons one didn’t help, then one clearly doesn’t want to help. That’s far more offensive than a strategic mistake.

          • You have every right to contend what you’re contending but to do so here in my view is to not give the Pope the benefit of the doubt… and why would you not want to give the benefit of the doubt? Because in the eyes of the haters and the ignorant, you would then appear to them to be, to use Jim’s word, complicit or allied or in agreement with the Pope.

            This in some rabid circles is anathema.

            What you have not done for me is answer the question, in the context of Jim’s ignorant charge, as to whether the leaders of the world to which I linked earlier are all complicit in the Holocaust, as Jim is saying the Pope is saying the allies are. Are they or are they not? This to me is the crux of our exchange. If they are, say they are. If they are not, say they are not.

          • Scalia

            First, I’ve expressed agreement with the Pope on a number of topics, including abortion and divorce. So, I’m definitely not afraid to be in agreement with him whether it be religious or political.

            Second, I do not accuse the Pope of being complicit in the Holocaust, so why would I accuse world leaders of the same? That’s not the point I was making. I am saying that world leaders are just as irresponsible if they deny the implication of continuing to question the Allied reasons for not bombing the railway lines leading to Auschwitz.

            Implicate: to show to be also involved, usually in an incriminating manner:
            to be implicated in a crime…to imply as a necessary circumstance, or as something to be inferred or understood…to connect or relate to intimately; affect as a consequence:
            The malfunctioning of one part of the nervous system implicates another part…Archaic. to fold or twist together; intertwine; interlace.

            Complicit: choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others; having complicity.

            Not much difference between the two. I agree there is a difference between a direct accusation and an implied one, but in the minds of listeners, especially thousands of young listeners, the implication of the Pope’s question is clear. Implicit in the question (whether asked by the Pope or any other world leader, especially when he specifically called out persecuted groups) is an accusation that the Allies didn’t care or looked the other way when Jews were being murdered. If I saw you being murdered and looked the other way, I should not be surprised if others accused me of being complicit in your murder, especially if I was armed and had no reasonable fear of danger.

          • I do not accuse the Pope of being complicit in the Holocaust, so why would I accuse world leaders of the same?

            Bingo. We’re in agreement.

            The rest is not, to me, as important or relevant. To me. To you clearly it is and good on you for that.

            The key for me is that we agree that Jim’s charge holds no water. End of discussion on this point. It’s the only point I was trying to make.

          • Scalia

            Perhaps you can link me the post where Jim said that the Pope was complicit in the Holocaust. He said above:

            Oh, and at the same time he implied that the allies were complicit in the Holocaust.

            Jim said that the Pope implied that the Allies were complicit in the Holocaust. Where did he say that the Pope was complicit too?

          • jim_m

            Once again we see that Rick is confused and not competent at expressing what he believes.

          • You’re correct… I apologize… it’s what I get for reading something quickly here at the office and for hoping that in fact we were in agreement. Sorry.

            In my quick reading, I thought you had written that you agreed that Jim was wrong in suggesting that the Pope believes the allies were complicit in the Holocaust. My bad. Apparently, you do agree with Jim.

            I’m not really surprised.

            Glad, in a way, to see that Jim is back and at least alive and kicking… and reverting back to the Jim we all know.

          • jim_m

            Interesting that this did not appear on my screen at all, and did not even appear as a tag saying that there is a reply to the comment as it usually does.

            That being the case I apologize for my statements. Having seen no correction from you I assumed that you were doing your usual misstatements and then refusing to correct them. It’s nice to see that you are learning.

          • jim_m

            Rick once more bears false witness. I’m done asking the liar to apologize for his many slanders of me. God will send that jerk straight to Hell and that is good enough for me.

          • Once again we see why you are not welcome on my threads… and why I’ll lower the boom on you again should you attempt to repeatedly break that ban.

            Repent of your hatred Jim…

          • jim_m

            Once again we see that you were mistaken, bore false witness against me, were confronted with the proof of that false witness and you still refuse to admit to it and apologize for it.

            The RCC doesn’t need people like yourself, who refuse to admit their errors, representing it. That is why I say you bring shame upon the Catholic church.

          • I apologized to Scalia over an hour ago… sigh…

            I truly hope you’re not hit by a bus or something soon… I pray God allows time for you to repent.