PopeWatch: Not a Liberal



Mathew Walther insists at The Week that Pope Francis is no liberal:


Indeed, I would go so far as to say that both of his predecessors, St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, had more of the saccharine “Spirit of Vatican II” about them than Francis has. The current pope is a hard-headed practical man, with no illusions about human nature. Nor is he much of an intellectual, though his environmental encyclical Laudato si’ is one of the most important pieces of theological writing to have appeared in my lifetime.


His is a decidedly peasant spirituality of intense Marian devotion. He loathes pomposity with the fervor of his ascetic namesake, St. Francis of Assisi. While he is famous for not getting on well with mainstream traditionalists like me, the so-called rigorists and doctors of the law whom he has subjected to endless (and sometimes deserved) ridicule, he clearly has a soft spot for the much-maligned Society of St. Pius X, whose founder was shamefully — and perhaps invalidly — excommunicated by John Paul II. His gradual reintroduction of these battered and pious misfits into the wider life of the Church is the answer to many prayers.


Go here to read the rest.  Pope Francis not a liberal in the American sense.  He is a left wing Peronist with a strong admixture of Liberation Theology.  An alarming thought just came to PopeWatch.  Is it possible that Pope Francis thinks he is adopting a moderate political stance and that his politics are actually much further to the left?

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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 has confused orthodoxy, orthodox doctrine, with doctors; principles with persons. Pope Francis has banned the priests and sisters of the Immaculate Conception for whatever reason, for which he is embracing the Society of Pius X. It would appear that a Pope devoted to Our Lady would embraced the priests and sisters of the Immaculate Conception.

  2. Francis isn’t an ideologue since he is completely a-ideological. He could just as easily function in a country that is ruled by generals like in Argentina (where he got along swimmingly – biggest problems for him were the Catholics who didn’t like his holyman/shamanism/prophet schtick) as he can with the Leninist/Stalinists/Maoist like he is presently with the Chinese government.

    Francis is all about power. He will do whatever he needs to do to attain it and then keep it.

    So in fact, what Francis is is a Machievellian.

    And if you don’t believe me, go read the joint statement that he put out with the Russian Patriarch Kirill in Cuba.

  3. I stopped reading Mr. Walther’s piece at “…(Pope Francis’) environmental encyclical
    Laudato Si’ is one of the most important pieces of theological writing to have appeared
    in my lifetime”.
    Whatever the man might have to say after a howler like that, I know
    I cannot take seriously. I actually did a double-take to make sure this wasn’t a satirical
    article reposted from Eye of the Tiber.

  4. A great deal of topical commentary (by experts and aspirant experts) is fundamentally self-aggrandizing. What is the function of intellectuals, but to tell us that things are not as ordinary people see them? I’m hoping as one trods through middle age one acquires the talent to recognize this dreck fairly reliably from the appearance of a few predictable phrases, because I’m very unmotivated to read it any more. Oh no no no. If you were sophisticated you’d see the subtelty or the deeper problem or the root cause or the unnoticed antecedent ka blah ka blah ka blah. Everything that needs to be said to Mr. Walther is said by John Cleese at the 0:30 mark.


  5. Jorge Bergoglio is a heretic. Further, I agree with Clinton. Laudato Si is a piece of liberal progressive eco-wacko, enviro-nazi pagan nonsense best reserved for the incinerator.

    This Pope must be deposed and anathematized! The sooner the better!

  6. We learn a lot about Mr. Walther and his dislikes in this piece. He’s certainly not *that* kind of traditionalist.

    Not so much about the Pope, alas.

  7. Man that bugs me. He does not seem a very good person.

    At the end of the article is this:
    “Ostensibly traditionalist Catholic journalists subject the pope’s every utterance to a kind of graspingly paranoid scrutiny; the most innocuous line from a homily is taken as evidence of a sinister mission to undermine and ultimately destroy the Church.”
    Mr. Walther’s article is a round-house wind up ending in a smack down of the faithful Catholic who is caught in the maelstrom of Francis. Sort of a tricky way of using fine language but jabbing us in the stomach at the same time. .

  8. In the article Walther badmouths an excellent new book: The Political Pope: How Pope Francis Is Delighting the Liberal Left and Abandoning Conservatives, a new book by an American journalist called George Neumayr.

    Do yourself a favor and buy it.

  9. Alain Badiou, the Grand Old Man of the French Left, would certainly agree that Pope Francis is no liberal.

    Badiou described the Holy Father as “a typical petit-bourgeois Social Democrat. In other words, he is someone who wants a decaffeinated Revolution – 1789 without 1793 or the October Revolution without the Red Terror”

  10. Ah French lefties, thahk God that since the Commune they have usually lacked the power to carry out their blood drenched schemes. Of course in regard to Badiou he is hampered by the fact that no one, including himself, understands what he is saying which has been described as bursts of metaphysical gibberish.

  11. Badiou described the Holy Father as “a typical petit-bourgeois Social Democrat. In other words, he is someone who wants a decaffeinated Revolution – 1789 without 1793 or the October Revolution without the Red Terror”

    I think if Ted Cruz or William Voegli were to describe Francis in terms of his disposition toward the Constitution of 1789, people would generally say that was silly.

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