Pope Francis,La Repubblica, interview with EugenioScalfari).
As a father with a teenage son who can’t find a job, and as someone who volunteers at a nursing home on a weekly basis, I certainly understand and have experience with both issues. I think we should take them seriously, but can we really be taking these problems seriously if we call them most serious evils afflicting our world? Are they root causes of other evils, or, more likely the symptoms of other evils, and if they are just symptoms, are they the consequences of the most serious evils afflicting our world?
First, let’s take these two evils seriously.
Youth unemployment is a real problem. Back during the Occupy Wall Street craze, I quipped to a friend of mine, that those kids needed to take a shower and then get a job. My friend, far wiser than I, shook his finger at me. “You don’t understand,” he explained. “They do have jobs; almost all of them are interns working for free, forced to live in their parent’s basements and garages while they lay awake at night worrying about the hundreds of thousands of dollars that they owe in student loans.”
Ever since that day when I was gently reprimanded for an unwarranted insult, I’ve looked very closely at the unjust, usurious, system that preys on the Western world’s young people. This especially hits home as I have teenagers getting ready to step out into this very dangerous system. Young people are offered few choices. Either go into debt and get a college degree that will probably not yield a good enough job to pay off that debt, or… well, nothing. That seems to be the only choice our society gives parents and teenagers. Of course, there are other reasonable options, but those options are seldom promoted. Why? Because there’s no way to take exuberant interest on loans if young people were to choose those other options.
Secondly, young people are, naturally, the primary victims of under-performing economies. If the workforce shrinks, it stands to reason that the most experienced, those with the most seniority, and those who have already proven themselves will retain their jobs. Those without seniority, experience, or a proven track record will be the ones more than likely out of job. This means, of course, the young. I’m not inclined to place too much emphasis on good or bad economies. I’m sorry, but there are more important, essential things, than the human behavior in the market place that propels societies down their historical paths. However, on the other hand we can’t ignore basic economics.
There seems, therefore, to be two glaring causes for youth unemployment in the West: usury and bad economies. There’s probably other causes. I’m not an economist, so I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the issue, but I can use a little common sense here. Naturally, if the Pope wanted to tackle youth unemployment wouldn’t he want to mention these two things as more serious evils, since they are causes of the problem? Is the Pope, then, really serious about youth unemployment if he doesn’t even bother mention what might be causing it? Perhaps the Pope thinks that governments can just will jobs into being for the youth, by executive fiat.
The loneliness of the old is a serious problem. I see it every week in the people I visit. Many of them have only one true companion: their television sets. Now I would venture to guess that maybe slightly more than half of these people are rather lonely, but a good many of them aren’t. I know residents who are visited daily by their families, and have good friends among the other residents. The staff and nurses I know are excellent, kind, friendly and extremely professional.
However, if we want to focus on that slightly more than half that are truly lonely, what might be the cause of this? From my experience it simple lack of human companionship based on the fact that they haven’t any family, or haven’t any family willing to exert much more effort in their elderly family members than paying a monthly bill. In almost every case, the resident hasn’t a family that visits and cares for them. Their adult children are few (because they used family planning to avoid having children), and the few adult children they have live far away (due to the highly mobile nature of our society and lack of roots for families). Often adult children have the attitude that their parents have Social Security and retirement plans, and having little no awareness of needs beyond the merely physical, they see no reason to care for their elderly or make their elderly part of their lives. You see, in ages past a man’s children were his retirement and insurance; now retirement and insurance is a paper check and a nursing home as a warehouse, the grave’s waiting room.
I can think of other reasons for this loneliness, like a lack of volunteers, or some older people being just down right cantankerous. But whatever the reasons for this loneliness, if the Pope wanted to really be serious about the issue, wouldn’t he mention some of these reasons, like the breakdown of the family? And wouldn’t these reasons be more serious evils that we need to tackle?
I don’t think this Pope really believes what he’s saying here. How can he honestly believe that these two symptoms of the diseases that ravage the modern western world are the most serious evils in comparison to other things, like the holocaust of abortion, the proliferation of pornography and the exploitation of children in the sex industry, human trafficking, rampant sexual immorality and substance abuse, etc., etc., etc.?
No, he knows darn well these aren’t the most serious evils facing the world, but he is not wont to mention the real evils, especially abortion, to a man like Scalfari. If Scalfari should be challenged on his pro-abortion position, then the Pope would be engaging in that nasty “solemn nonsense” of proselytizing. Pope Francis doesn’t want that poor atheist to feel bullied by mentioning abortion or artificial contraception or gay marriage, all of which are eating away at the foundations of the western world like acid, because Scalfari likes sexual immorality, artificial contraception and free and unfettered access to abortion.
The priorities have to change if the new modern Church of Francis’ creation is to be liked by Scalfari. It’s all about “attraction”. We need to attract rather than proselytize. There might be a grain of truth to that. No one will believe what we say about Our Blessed Lord, salvation, and the spiritual fecundity of our Catholic faith if we are cantankerous jerks who treat the faith like a political ideology. But, really, how many devout Catholics, who love Christ and His Church so much that they can’t contain themselves from promoting the faith and the splendor and the beauty of the Church are cantankerous jerks and ideologues? I don’t know of a single one. A devout Catholic is a devout Catholic, and that generally means they pray and love and volunteer and raise happy families and love the Church’s liturgies. Many of them do what they can to promote and spread the faith, and that is proselytizing. For these people, proselytizing does not equal bullying, but the mainstream secular world sees any promotion of Christianity as an offense because they hate Christianity and especially Catholicism. For those who hate the faith, any promotion of the faith is "bullying", and they won't stand for it.
And the Pope knows it! That’s why he seems to be prostituting the Church to Scalfari. It appears that the Holy Father believes he can make the Church “attractive” to the likes of Scalfari by minimizing the hard things of our faith, complaining that Catholics have obsessed about things like abortion, artificial contraception and gay marriage. Pope Francis is announcing a new, kinder and gentler Church to people like Scalfari, a Church more concerned with the things Scalfari is concerned with, like youth unemployment and old folks.
If that’s what the Pope is up to, then it’s the dumbest thing that has ever come out of his muddled, Jesuit mind. What attracts men of good will in this faithless world is the faith, without equivocation and without compromise. The faith will always garner hatred from those of an ill will, but such is the mystery of God’s providence. To water down the faith, to obscure the faith with equivocations and compromises to the world, in the hope that Pope Francis and his Church will be popular, is a recipe for disaster.
I think most parents at some point give at least one or two of their teenagers the “stop trying to be popular, and just be yourself” talk. I wish someone would sit down with our Pope and give him that same talk.
Please pray for our Holy Father, Pope Francis, that he might convert to authentic and traditional Catholicism.