Pay close attention to this Oscar Leon report from The Real News Network on Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Argentinian Cardinal transformed into Pope Francis I — signifying his homage to St. Francis of Assisi, that most austere-living of saints.
Indeed, watch the headlines displayed in the video, and their invocation of papal austerity as sign of the new pope’s conspicuous frugality.
Watching the video, we had a perverse thought.
Frankie’s no liberation theologian, out to redistribute wealth. No, he’s here to preach the religious benefits accruing from the embrace of austerity. The poor accrue virtue by acceptance of their status, nay, by embracing their status.
Looking back at the recent history of the Catholic church, we see an easy acceptance of fascism in preference to communism, the provision of escape lines for Nazi war criminals in the wake of Nazi defeat, and the ongoing cooperation and funding of radical right underground groups during the Soviet era.
Who better to sell the austerian message to the peoples of, say, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, that a Latin American pope who names himself after a hippie saint?
And he’s proven himself quite accommodating to oligarchical imposers of austerian measures, and now runs a city state with its own bank-with-a-troubled history, laundering both mafia and spook money.
Anyway, just a thought.
Pope Francis accused by family and friends of tortured priests
A full transcript of the segment is posted here.
UPDATE: Donning our Madison Avenue thinking caps, we came up with a slogan for the Vatican to use to sell folks on latter-day indentured servitude:
Poverty: Not just a necessity,
It’s a divine virtue!