PopeWatch: Dialogue



Dialogue:  our contemporary equivalent of a shaman waving his enchanted sticks:


Pope Francis sent a message to Venezuelan bishops, amid a wave of protests across the country, against the government of President Nicolás Maduro, which has left more than 30 dead.

“I assure you that I am following with great concern the situation of the beloved Venezuelan people in the face of the grave problems that afflict it,” said the Pontiff in his letter Friday. “I feel a deep sorrow for the confrontations and violence of these days, which have caused numerous deaths and injuries, and which do not help to solve the problems, but only cause more suffering and pain.”

The Catholic leader called on Venezuelan church leaders to warn against”any form of violence,” adding that “the serious problems of Venezuela can be solved If there is a will to establish bridges, to dialogue seriously and to comply with the agreements reached.”

The Pope, who has repeatedly urged dialogue between sectors in Venezuela, recently criticized a section of the opposition for not being disposed to talks.

Despite Pope Francis’ calls, Venezuelan opposition leaders said they would not participate in the National Constituent Assembly convened by President Nicolas Maduro to rewrite the constitution.

“(The process) is not a Constituent, we could hardly go to an absolutely fraudulent process, we Venezuelans will not be part of a fraud,” leader of the opposition MUD coalition, Henrique Capriles, said Sunday.


Go here to read the rest.  Venezuela does not need dialogue at the present time but rather Dictator Maduro on a one way trip into exile.  When dialogue is your solution to everything, you become both fatuous and immoral, as you call for dialogue between tyrants and their victims.  If Pope Francis can’t do better than this, perhaps it would be better if he simply keeps silent.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Pope Francis could say; “This crisis is the Mother of all difference in unity.”

    Of course the waving of the enchanted sticks is always a good plan B.

  2. Somewhere George Orwell is saying, “You did not read my book.”

    Once the richest nation is Latin America, Venezuelans are starving. Voodoo central planning. The totalitarians nationalized the farms and placed currency and price controls.

  3. But Pope Jorge, they are just ¡ haciendo un lio! [making a mess]: You urged young people to do that for change, did you not? (July 12,2015)
    Is it “no mess against the Left?”
    Or could make a greater mess of things than you, PF?

  4. “Once the richest nation is Latin America, Venezuelans are starving. Voodoo central planning.”

    These countries are mostly catholic,,,, it’s embarrassing.

  5. “These countries are mostly catholic . . . ”
    A Protestant, I grew up believing the poverty/poor economic state that seems to be very common in (majority) Catholic countries was due to the prohibition on birth control (which I actually believed Catholics avoided). Catholics were poor because they were all having 10 children in a family, too many mouths to feed, and all the usual population control fictions. I didn’t know that it was because most Catholic countries seems to prefer the socialist/high regulation/governmental control economic model.
    The prohibition on birth control was not a deal breaker for me, and I converted (my spouse is cradle Catholic). If I had known the Church seems to prefer socialism (despite an encyclical to the contrary), I don’t think I would have bothered to continue with the dreadful RCIA program I had to sit through.

  6. Latin American poverty has long been blamed on the fact that Latin American nations are majority Catholic. It goes back to the Black Legend. I have read a few books about Latin American history. The relative Catholicism of those nations are not the reason for their poverty. Independence was achieved differently for Mexico, northern South America, Argentina, Chile and Brazil just declared itself independent and went on its way. Bolivar and San Martin were not practicing Catholics. I think San Martin was a Mason. The Epic of Latin America, written by USC professor John David Crow, is over 900 pages. The Latin American nations were full of poor people when they became independent. Unlike the United States, they had little experience in self government. The Church frequently found itself being bullied by the government (this is especially true in Mexico). Many of their priests came from Spain or in Brazil’s case, Portugal. To make a very long story short, the wealthy of Latin America were usually landowners who were not exemplary Catholics and cared mostly about preserving their families’ holdings. Hard work, thrift, innovation….these are not Latin American hallmarks.

  7. Hard work, thrift, innovation….these are not Latin American hallmarks.

    In truth,they aren’t hallmarks of southern Catholic Europe, either. It may very well be that if you promote large families in cultures lacking those skills, socialism is more appealing. Likewise, or may be that if socialism is appealing, one never develops the self control that is necessary for thrift, innovation, hard work, or smaller family size sans contraception.

    The Poles are more northern European in genes and still Catholic. They did not appreciate socialism being forced upon them. Vikings however are strongly socialist…it is interesting what’s different about religion and values in these cultures.

  8. “Hard work, thrift, innovation….these are not Latin American hallmarks.”
    They are hallmarks in Costa Rica. You can see from the air that Costa Rica is different, day or night. No haciandas, just family farms. Lots of hydropower, lots of streelights. The Ticos (as they call themselves) were isolated from much of the colonial system due to geography. They are ardently Catholic and fought a brief revolution in 1948 to oppose additional socialism beyond their New Deal style safety net. Costa Rica is proof the root of the problem is not Spanish ancestry.

  9. Philip Nachazel: to SAY one is against Socialism and to BE against Socialism is a different thing. My father, while admiring Pope John Paul II somewhat (and at the time said the Catholic Church was the only Church left with any standards) , considered JPII to be “a good Socialst.” (He would have said the same of Benedict, but my father died shortly before JPII died.
    The biggest part of the problem is in the definitions. Very, very few people would consider such items as PBS and mandatory public education Socialist. Or Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid. Or basic welfare programs, or the like. But they are certainly seem to be part of the Socialist entry gate. And in the long run, these things likely aren’t as helpful to society as they seem.

  10. “John Paul II a good socialist.”


    When I think of all the oppression he endured as a young man under the National Socialist German Workers Party having invaded his beloved Poland and studying the for the priesthood in clandestine settings…well I shudder at the thought of Karol being a good socialist.

    As you mentioned, there are levels and my example is extreame, but his heroic defense against the communist machine helped to topple the eastern block. Socialist lite…ok, maybe…but a “good” socialist?

  11. Bracketing out natural resource rents and the hypertrophied portion of the share accruing to the most affluent decile, Latin American countries tend to have per capita product (in chained dollars) characteristic of the United States just before and just after the Depression. Life expectancy at birth is generally at levels not reached in this country until the 1970s and literacy rates are generally above 90%. Latin America has many problems, and is less affluent than the United States by a considerable margin, but it does not qualify as poor on a historical or global scale.

  12. Philip: Well, “good Socialist” meaning more like “Well, he is an European. Of course he is Socialist.” My father did not think all Socialists violent, and JPII (or Benedict, or the others) certainly were not. But even in praising the markets, surely they did questioned such things as mandatory tax payer funded schools, mandatory tax payer funded social programs, all manner of government regulations, including the minimum wage and the “right” to a “living wage.” And of course gun control.
    As an idea–that being important. These tax payer funded “public goods” are good ideas, it is just bad people who run the show. Those beliefs are as natural to them as the beliefs/knowledge the Sun rises in the East, sets in the West. For the Sun to do otherwise would be, well, impossible. So a civilized society must absolutely have gov’t funded schools, Social Security/Medicare, gov’t paid for health care, etc. No society can be called civilized without those things.
    I’m thinking rather the reverse may be true: society starts to loose its civility once those things creep into it.

  13. “a good socialist” is an individual who refuses to acknowledge the individual person. “A good socialist serves the state instead of the sovereign persons who institute the state with good will for the common good.
    The patriot, the statesman and the Pope pray for all people. The socialist prays, if he prays for the group. Man has God as his “Creator”. The state has man as its creator. The state may be a legal, sovereign person. The state is not a human person.

  14. “The state has man as it’s creator.”
    Good points Mary and DJH. A machine that needs constant fuel…and it’s increasingly consuming more and more fuel and having adverse effects from where it’s intentions arouse to what it has become.

    In our local government I see this machine playing disingenuous, while subjecting taxpayers to burden more weight at programs that attract abusers of systems.

    DJH. I see what your saying. Agreed that taxpayer funded programs to assist neighbors would be considered a positive work of mercy by Pope’s present and past. I was looking at it when the pet becomes the monster. Out of control, so to speak.

    Sharing our time, treasures and talents is a good and honorable thing of course, but being forced to support programs, good or bad, is a form of loosing civility.

    Thank you both.

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