Latest interview: Pope Francis sounds a lot like Barack Obama

The interview, conducted last week in the pope’s spartan residence in a Vatican guest house, appeared as he began a three-day, closed-door meeting with eight cardinals from around the world to help him reform the Vatican’s troubled administration, known as the Curia.

There are some “courtiers” among the Curia’s administrators, he said, but its main defect is that it is too inward-looking.

“It looks after the interests of the Vatican, which are still, in large part temporal interests. This Vatican-centric vision neglects the world around it and I will do everything to change it,” he said.

Francis said the eight cardinals he had chosen to make up his advisory board did not have selfish motives.

“They are not courtiers but wise people who are inspired by my same feelings. This is the start of a Church with an organisation that is not only vertical but also horizontal,” he said.


Editor’s note: The Church and its leadership has never been immune to the novelties of the times.


  1. Did you know that during the first campaign, America magazine called Obama “the spirit of the Council”? I have some details in two posts about it on my blog. We should not be surprised by this at all. Politics and religion are the same thing. There is no separation of Church and state no matter how hard we try. What religious liberty in particular has meant is the introduction of relativism in matters usually regarded as economic, and usually, that is, in the past, regarded as fixed, as matters of truth or untruth, and usually, that is, in the past, designed to protect the most vulnerable. When the protestant rebellion broke all that, they opened the door to wholesale predation on the poor (it had been setting up for centuries–get Amintore Fanfani’s ‘Catholicism, Protestantism, and Capitalism’). Henry VIII’s first official act as head of his own church was to privatize a famous hospital where the poor had been receiving care for hundreds of years. The protestant rebellion had economic effects around the world, as countries, in order to compete, broke their Catholic economies even as they retained nominally their Catholic identity–Spain did this, it’s a fascinating story. I imagine it could be well argued that Europe’s particular ‘socialist’ culture gradually took shape in reponse to the economic pressure caused by the protestant rebellion, and I myself argue (I have not run into anyone else who does) that communism is only a response to the conditions set up by the savage economics of unrestrained capitalism, not the enemy and not the devil but the overspray of protestantism, the real enemy with its equivocated god. In the US we traded our last hope for sanity, that is, a form of restoration, by siding with secularism/capitalism against communism (I am referring to the men of Triumph magazine), and we are doing the same now siding with secularism/capitalism against islam. Our chief enemy is secularism, which is only protestantism rolled out. Nevertheless, I personally advise (and once again I’m alone as far as I know) an alliance with protestantism to form a third party with ‘elements’ from what we call the left and the right, similar to that forged by FIDESZ in Hungary. But I personally would not conceal the true goal, the restoration of a Catholic state, in economics, in culture, in moral teaching. Gallup has found for many years that the greatest number of people wishing biblical principles to be formally in place leglislatively are in the US, but a majority all around the world wish the same; no one wants religious liberty, we all sense that the disconnect between state and church leads to mischief.

    • You make a number of very interesting points. But how do we even begin to overcome this modern day Tower of Babel that we seem to be stuck with?


      • “But how do we even begin to overcome this modern day Tower of Babel that we seem to be stuck with?”

        I know, right? But, sure there’s a way! The Truth is persuasive. First, determine you want to build a third party. Find others. Make the plan. Reach out. Learn the little rules about playing the media. Pray. FIDESZ did it somehow. I’ve been involved in lots of smaller projects, like the civil rights movement, and I know it’s possible. You focus. The first step is the hardest: to quit griping about peripherals, and go for the big solution, which is of course what tradition says: put Christ at the center. Do not build a house without God. Only the Restoration will solve the social and economic problems that face us–we could name each one and it’s easy to show the Catholic state has an answer. If we were to begin to make noise about the Restoration here, in the US, and now, when secularism is crumbling all around us, the Church would respond more quickly than to a dozen cogent arguments against the Council. (Although their thunderous lack of support for FIDESZ says I’m wrong. But Hungary is not the US! [We’re special…: ) ]) Politics and religion are exactly the same.

        Last month I went to a meeting of self-described conservative African-Americans and made this same pitch. I was received with courtesy and interest. If I’d been a guy, or if I were led by a guy who’s thinking one step beyond me, I’d have collected some savvy support at that meeting and we’d be on stage two now. I’d be down the South Side organizing gang kids to learn the Faith and put some rosaries around those young necks. And college campuses. (Just saying, about the guy part. I’m a woman-person who responds well to leadership. It takes men out front.) It can be done. The Truth is extremely persuasive. In any case, just because it appears to be entirely impossible, we do not get to give up on that account. If Christ must be at the center, then we must die trying, even if the cause is lost. We must. Just as we must be martyrs, if the situation arises. A person doesn’t get to back down from that, either, just because it appears that one’s on the ‘losing’ side.

        Thank you for asking, dear Tantum.

      • Very interesting, indeed. But I think I would rather wear a hair shirt, sell everything I own and retire to a desert monastery (for now).



      • Doug,
        If this is now a Modern Day Tower of Babel, I am joining you! I don’t know, about the “Clothing Choice! “. 🙂
        Who would be the Nimrod position? He/She would be opposed to God. They would find their own way to God, and drag the confused ppl as followers!

      • Sorry for the name mixup. I am finishing a novel, much distracted.

  2. Uh, oh. Are the world’s Catholics about to be inflicted with yet another round of “hopey-changey stuff?” ‘Cause we all know how well that worked out for us before.

    (I swallow hard to quote and paraphrase Sarah Palin, but it fits here.)

    • You Betcha Mark!

      Did you know that Sarah Palin, used to be Catholic?

      I personally think the Vertical Approach for the Church is Best…Horizontal is Too Political! 🙂

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s