First Pope Francis calls right-wing Christian extremism a “sickness” and now this? After the sermon he just gave, Pope Francis is not going to be invited to CPAC anytime soon. In fact, if he keeps this up, he’ll become enemy #1 to the frothing nuts on the right.
Let’s be honest, the right-wing centers on greed. In the 80’s, Reagan and Gordon Gecko codified the idea that “greed is good.” Since then, conservatives have lived as if your worth can only be measured by how much you’re worth. You were only as good as the size of your McMansion or how low the gas mileage on you Hummer is. Money stopped becoming a means to an end. It became the end in and of itself. All the while, conservatives swore on a stack of heavily edited Bibles that they loved The Jesus. And for the last 30 years, the entire world suffered for it.
But Pope Francis is not interested in Reaganomics nor is Pope Francis interested in false piety. No, Pope Francis is interested in the message of Jesus. Curiously, this message stands in direct opposition to everything conservatives stand for.
Wait, Pope Francis says greed is…bad?
During a sermon at Monday’s Mass, Pope Francis compared the mindless pursuit of money to idolatry:
That’s what does harm: greed in my relationship with money. Having more, having more, having more… It leads you to idolatry, it destroys your relationship with others. It’s not money, but the attitude, what we call greed. Then too this greed makes you sick, because it makes you think of everything in terms of money. It destroys you, it makes you sick. And in the end – this is the most important thing – greed is an instrument of idolatry because it goes along a way contrary to what God has done for us.
This is the core problem of modern-day conservatism: they see everything in terms of money. Help the sick? Not if I have to pay for it! Help the hungry? Not if I have to pay for it! Help the poor? Not if I have to pay for it!
Pope Francis has seen straight to the heart of America’s obsession with money and revealed it as the cancer it is. While Pope Francis does not single out the United States, it’s undeniable we are “Patient Zero” of the global greed epidemic. We have exported our unthinking consumerism to all corners of the globe. The result? Misery and poverty on a global scale as we exploit the poor to feed the greed of the rich.
Why is Pope Francis attacking success?!?!
Actually, Pope Francis is not opposed to money or success. He’s quite clear on this point:
Money serves to bring about many good things, so many works for human development, but when your heart is attached in this way, it destroys you.
Money is not the problem and in truth, it never was. What is strangling our society is the hoarding of wealth for the sake of hoarding it. The Koch brothers have more money than they could ever hope to spend. Does that stop them from demanding more? Nope. Their heart is attached to it and everything is viewed through the lens of money. As long as this goes on, the rich will get richer but we’ll all be the poorer for it, both literally and spiritually.
Here’s video and transcript: