The America I hope Pope Francis sees

I suppose everyone has an agenda for the Holy Father’s visit. Mine has to do with an America I’ve been able to witness, and which I hope Pope Francis has an opportunity to see.

  • Arts and beauty. Unlike Europe, the US seems to have regained some real ground from brutalism in all its forms. The music at the canonization, though undoubtedly a mix of good and bad, will feature at least some music that is excellently composed and well-performed. This is an area in which the US Church can, and does, provide leadership.
  • Young families. Everywhere you look in the Church in the US, you see large young families living their sacramental lives full of joy. The future is obvious: Serious Catholicism is fruitful and joyful and exceedingly promising. It is also challenging, and needs the support of the Church in not only concrete matters, but in its teaching and practice.
  • Poverty. The United States, while a perennial breadbasket for the world and a place where entrepreneurial dreams can still become reality, is also the home of large seedy areas of frustrated hopes, where children learn early and often that they are destined for nothing in particular, and that no one will help. Homes for the aged are ridiculously expensive. Catholicism has a traditional solution to poverty: men and women Religious.
  • Young Religious. Most religious communities in the US are fading out. A few are thriving.

Nothing Is Impossible from Carmelite Sisters on Vimeo.

8 Replies to “The America I hope Pope Francis sees”

  1. The Pope does serious damage to the Church's credibility when he talks about economic issues. The poor in the US would be considered middle class or even upper middle class in most 3rd world countries. The economic policies he espouses would actually harm the very people he claims to love. Argentina in the early 20th century had the 13th largest GDP in the world. Now it's way down, due largely, to following the policies he touts.

  2. HHF is provided his own Fiat! How very apt. But his seems to have sufficient leg room. It's almost vintage Francisco, as the old cliché about the anachronistic brand was F.I.A.T.- "Fix it again, Tony!" I suppose it could have been funkier if Papa Bergoglio had been a Frenchman as he would have chosen a "Le Car" for his limo;-)

  3. There is real poverty in the US. I don't blame you for not knowing about it, since the hype suggests that everyone in the country is prosperous. It simply isn't so.

    Regarding solutions, if you read my post, I am not suggesting a particular politico-economic solution, but specifically the activity of vowed Religious.

  4. The pope proposes no specific policies – as he reminded journalists on the flight from Havana to Washington today. He merely reminds the world of the Church's teachings, warning us of the potential for abuses in ANY system – including capitalism. Unless you seriously mean to argue that capitalism is perfect?

    It is those with an anti-Catholic axe to grind who twist his words to make them mean something other. As he said today, his message is the same as that of John Paul II – whom conservative critics of the Church loved as dearly as left-wing critics embrace Francis.

    And both groups did so for their own reasons, which had nothing to do with the health of The Church.

  5. Kathy, the left-wing media exaggerates poverty in the US designed to help their auxiliary, the Democratic Party. I have a lot of experience with the "poor", folks living below the poverty line with cars, air conditioning, cell phones, flat screened TVs, etc. The unfortunates are the mentally unstable who fall through the safety net. Capitalism is the greatest weapon against poverty – it has raised millions out of poverty, while socialism has utterly failed. For the Holy Father to rail against Capitalism while remaining silent on the evils of Socialism (and Statism) is disappointing to say the least. He is supporting the enemies of the Church. But he grew up in corrupt Argentina, so I guess he really has no other perspective. Obama is playing him like a fiddle.

  6. TJM,

    There is a great deal of poverty throughout the US, and it is not only a problem of the mentally unstable. If you want to dismiss it as propaganda, I can only doubt that you have immediate experience of the United States.

  7. Kathy, statistical evidence undermines your argument. But it makes you feel good, so be it. We have the most obese "poor" people in the world, so they are not starving.l

  8. Your comment about statistics reminds me of the young sociologist in CS Lewis' That Hideous Strength. "He knew nothing about the half cup of cocoa drunk slowly 10 days before."

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