Is the beloved Pope a hypocrite?
He’s gotten big billing this past week for charging through Latin America blasting capitalism. And he’s received much press for two years with his comments about drones, contraception, the big bang theory, and the role of women in the church. The Pope has proven to be a sound byte machine and he’s created plenty of fans and more than a few haters along the way.
But in last Sunday’s news conference from the papal plane, Pope Francis said he would be opening his ears — and presumably his mind — to hear his American critics. Let me suggest two places he should start if he wants to be taken seriously by the people he’s attacked: weapons and war. The Pope’s critics claim his comments don’t always align with his behavior. They’re right, and he would do well to listen.
At a gathering of young people in Turin last month, the Pope said Christian businesspersons who manufacture weapons were guilty of “hypocrisy” because they “talk about peace and make weapons, or sell them to the two warring sides.” He added, “duplicity is the currency of today . . . they say one thing and do another.” This wasn’t the only time the Jesuit leader has fired shots at these believers. In May, he said that gun makers were complicit in “an industry of death.” And in February, Francis called them “merchants of death” who are “furthering a cycle of hate, fratricide, and violence.”
Pope Francis said weapon makers need to learn “not to trust riches and worldly powers,” but where is the Pope placing his trust when he arms his own guards?