Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Wednesday, February 10, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Pope Francis/Vatican
6/30/2014 7:53:00 AM
Social ills are result of political, not just moral failures, pope says
Catholic News Service photo
A blind boy stands outside his makeshift shelter in Islamabad.
Catholic News Service photo
A blind boy stands outside his makeshift shelter in Islamabad.
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Many of today's social ills are driven by a lack of adequate social policies and government support, not just selfishness and moral degradation, Pope Francis said.

And, he added, standing up for the poor and disenfranchised is not a sign of being a communist, but is the mark of a true Christian.

"The communists stole our cause. Rallying for the poor is Christian," and it was so for 2,000 years before Karl Marx picked up on it, the pope said in an interview published June 29.

The interview published in the Rome newspaper, Il Messaggero, touched on the challenges of reforming the Roman Curia, the role of women in the church, the causes behind many of today's social problems and Pope Francis' vow to remain neutral during the World Cup soccer tournament.

He was cheering "for no one. Really. I promised the president of Brazil to stay neutral," the pope -- an avid soccer fan -- told a reporter in an hourlong interview June 24, the day the Italian squad lost to Uruguay.

Seated in a small lounge inside the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives, the pope said the biggest problem with politics around the world today "is that it is undervalued, ruined by corruption and the phenomenon of bribery."

Pope Paul VI saw politics as "one of the highest forms of charity," Pope Francis said, underlining that its task is "to safeguard the common good," which includes "caring for human life, its dignity."

If politics isn't built on a foundation of service, "you cannot even understand politics' identity" or essential nature, he said. "I'm not saying everyone is corrupt, but I think it is difficult to stay honest in politics" if people are surrounded by corruption.

"Sometimes there are people who would like to do things aboveboard, but then they find themselves in difficulty and it is as if they were swallowed up by an endemic phenomenon on multiple intersecting levels" of corruption.

Corruption is not something inherent to politics, he said, but when the world is experiencing "an epochal change, inclinations toward a certain moral deviation are stronger."

One sign of moral degradation, he said, is the exploitation of young children.

"It's heartbreaking," he said. "Children are used for some kinds of manual labor because they have smaller hands. But children are also exploited sexually, in hotels" or on the streets.

He recalled that in Buenos Aires there were girls as young as 12 who were working as prostitutes.

But worse than that, he said, was "to see that the cars stopping were all high-powered vehicles driven by old men. They could have been their grandfathers."

"In my opinion these people who do that to children are pedophiles," he said.

"Good social policies" are essential for dealing with the problem, the pope said. People in political office need to "respond very clearly. For example, with social services that look after families to understand, to accompany them in overcoming difficult situations. The problem indicates a lack of social services in society."

The church "must continue" its efforts of helping people in difficulty, but it's "a tough job that requires a common effort," he said.

The problem of low birth rates, particularly in Europe, is also a result of inadequate social policies, he said. "It's as if Europe were tired of being a mother, preferring to be the granny."

"Raising a family is hard work, sometimes salaries aren't enough, (with paychecks) not lasting to the end of the month. People are afraid of losing their job or of not being able to pay rent. Social policies don't help."

"Much depends on the economic crises and not just on a cultural deviation marked by selfishness and hedonism," he said. However, he noted that he had read recently that the top three expenses for people  around the world were the basic necessities of food, clothes and medicine followed by "beauty care" and pets.

People desiring pets over children was another example of "cultural degradation," he said, because an emotional bond or relationship "with animals is easier" and more easily controlled because "an animal isn't free while a child is something more complex."

Asked what he thought about people claiming he is a communist because of his remarks about poverty and helping the poor, the pope said the Gospel insists Christians concern themselves with the poor and those in need.

"The communists say all this is communist. Yeah, right, 20 centuries later. So when they talk (about the poor) people could say to them: 'Well, you are Christians,'" he said, laughing.

The pope added: "Poverty is at the heart of the Gospel. You can't understand the Gospel without understanding real poverty, taking into account that there also exists a very beautiful poverty of the spirit: to be poor before God so that God fills you."

The Gospel speaks to both the rich and poor, he said. "It doesn't condemn the rich. At most (it condemns) riches when they become the object of idolatry -- the god of money, the golden calf."

Pope Francis also said there is not enough discussion in the church about women, and "I agree that there must be more work on the theology of women."

"Women are the most beautiful thing that God made. The church is female," he said. There must be a "greater deepening" of understanding of femininity "or else one can't understand the church herself."

Concerning his ongoing reform of the Roman Curia, the pope said he was not carrying out some personal agenda, but was doing "what the cardinals requested during the general congregations before the conclave."

Reforming the governing bodies of the church is not easy, he said, "because you move one step forward, but then it turns out you need to do this or that and if there was one dicastery before then they become four."

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved