This ain’t your momma’s Pope.
Surrounded by Secret Service SUVs, Jorge Mario Bergoglio arrived in town in a Fiat 500 subcompact. Born in Buenos Aires, he is the first non-European Pope since Gregory III in 741. He was a provincial leader of Argentina’s Society of Jesuits (Jesuits) and chose the name Francis after St. Francis of Assissi – patron saint of animals and the environment.
Pope Francis is a good example of why the Jesuits are often and wrongly
One of the first acts Pope Francis took after his ascendancy was to replace crooked cardinals running the Vatican Bank. Italian police arrested Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a bank accountant who was accused of trying to smuggle 20 millions euros cash to Switzerland.
Be very suspect of anyone or any information slamming the Jesuits. They lean left and were instrumental in formulating the radical liberation theology movement within the Latin American Catholic Church. This movement was instrumental in revolutions in both El Salvador and Nicaragua – where despots were replaced with Sandinista and FMLN leadership.
As for Pope Francis, he lives in a modest guesthouse at the Vatican, foregoing the luxury of the Apostolic Palace. He often rails against global warming, unbridled capitalism, Western materialism and poverty. On his most recent trip abroad he visited Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay – three of that continent’s poorest nations. Before arriving in Washington, he spent three days in Havana where he was instrumental in procuring the recent normalization in US-Cuba relations.
As the pontiff was applauded by a crowd of 11,000 on the Washington mall, Chinese Premier Xi delivered a hopeful speech in Seattle. But things may not go as well in the nation’s capital.
Xi has pushed a more assertive Chinese foreign policy, especially with regards to Japan. His premiership is a major reason why Japan recently repealed a ban on foreign overseas deployment of its troops – a ban in place since the end of WWII.
But Xi is also presiding over far-reaching economic liberalization not seen since Deng Xiaoping’s 1992 “Southern Tour”. These include allowing markets a bigger role in resource allocation and restructuring of state-owned enterprises.
With these types of pro-capitalist reforms, Xi should be the darling of conservatives in Congress. Instead, amidst in the current climate of xenophobia and saber-rattling, he is likely to be admonished like a school boy for the simple fact that he is Chinese.
Could be an interesting week to tune in to C-SPAN.