I love this new Pope.
His actions have been remarkably consistent with a man who seeks to place core values ahead of entrenched bureaucracy and power.
Soon after becoming Pope, he famously washed the feet of the imprisoned, an act that disgusted many in the hierarchy (New Pope Performs Astounding Act of Humility).
And he has, one could say, lashed out at the suffocating bureaucracy of the Catholic church and let it be known that he is looking for holy men to lead the church, not bureaucrats and not those interested in commanding people from on-high.
“…should not have the psychology of princes…”
He told the nuncios with the same disarming directness with which he paid his hotel bill after his election that he wanted these key figures to seek out potential bishops who are “close to the people, fathers and brothers” as well as “gentle, patient, and merciful, animated by inner poverty, the freedom of the Lord, and also by outward simplicity and austerity of life.” In addition, potential bishops “should not have the psychology of princes.” <source>
What is a “prince” after all, but one who has been elevated to a position of power not based on merit, but rather on birthright, and one who commands his subjects from an elevated status.
And so Pope Francis is
…looking for pastors who live closely with their people rather than clergy who feel they are entitled to live above them…
Against the stifling bureaucracy
In one address, Francis let church-watchers know how he plans to reform the Curia, now largely staffed by men who set out to make a career in the church. Many of these men are capable administrators, but most of them are routine bureaucrats: men who never solve problems but keep reviewing, restating or revising them lest they end up actually solving one and putting themselves out of the only work they know how to do, reading and stamping the mail but never delivering any of it. Such bureaucrats protect themselves from making a mistake that might harm their chances for advancement. <source>
Who would have believed that the Pope would call out the inefficiency and malignancy of bureaucracies?
Serving the People
Urging the hierarchy to be more pastoral than administrative, Pope Francis has said bishops should ask whether they and their priests are serving “the People of God as a whole” rather than “the Church as an organisation”. <source>
Here Pope Francis makes a clear distinction between a power structure that serves itself versus one that serves the people, and he is rendering a judgment that today’s church is more the former than the latter.
He does not like this and wants to change it.
A Contrast in Leadership
What does any of this have to do with Barack Hussein Obama?
A great deal, it turns out.
Clearly we have a Pope who is against imperial rulers, against the “psychology of princes”, against bureaucracy, and against the crushing weight of central power, which inevitably loses sight of the people it claims to serve and ultimately harms them more than helps them.
And clearly we have a president of the United States (I cannot say “American” president) who values central power and bureaucracy over all things. Barack Obama seeks to consolidate power in the hands of himself and his cronies and to restore a feudal system of patronage in our nation. mr. Obama is doing this by:
- Forcing through laws that create un-elected super-bureaucracies, such as the Independent Payment Advisory Board (part of Obamacare), which will have the power to make (and override as the case may be) decisions involving people’s lives and deaths,
- Passing laws that are so complex that people cannot understand them, thereby allowing selective enforcement of laws (granting of temporary waivers) and the unilateral favoring of certain groups of citizens (those in favor due to sufficient patronage) over certain others (those out of favor for any number of reasons, including that the prince is in a bad mood),
- Selectively ignoring existing American laws by instructing executive branch agencies to stop enforcing parts of them (in clear violation of the Constitution, a document that clearly must be weakened if one is to tear apart 240 years of American liberty).
Barack Obama and Pope Francis are two leaders pursuing agendas that are diametrically opposed to each other, and only one of them is on the side of the angels.