Pope Francis’ targets include gossips and the “bishop of bling”
Anyone surprised that Pope Francis criticized Donald Trump as un-Christian should pay closer attention — the 79-year-old pope regularly calls out people doing things he says God wouldn’t like.
Francis has enjoyed plenty of goodwill in the zeitgeist thanks to his humble approach to the papacy — he’s a strong advocate for the poor and relentlessly preaches empathy, a sharp turn from the righteous politics and resting bitch face of his predecessor Benedict XVI.
But Francis, too, is quite happy to call out corruption. Too bad he’s still so cranky about gay marriage.
Here’s a quick rundown of Francis’ targets, long before Trump entered his gilded crosshairs:
Litterbugs and Climate Deniers
“It must be stated that a true ‘right of the environment’ does exist,” Francis told the United Nations in 2015.
“Any harm done to the environment, therefore is harm done to humanity … the ecological crisis, and the large-scale destruction of biodiversity, can threaten the very existence of the human species.”
The “Bishop of Bling”
In one of his more fantastic vendettas, Francis dismissed Monsignor Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst — aka the “Bishop of Bling” — a German priest known for his lavish spending habits (like a $43 million residential complex that boasted a reported $20,000 bathtub, which Francis converted into a soup kitchen. Burn.)
The United States Congress
In what had to be an expected lecture about partisanship and the use of American influence for good, Francis visited Congress and spoke up about America’s military power and the dangers of self-interest.
“A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms,” the pope said.
“But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners.”
“Thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children?” Francis also said before Congress. “We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'”
Supporters of Gay Marriage
Much ink was spilled on an historic meeting between Pope Francis Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church. They represent major branches of the churches, which split off from each other centuries ago. The huddle itself captured attention, but the content of the meeting saw the men come out against gay marriage.
“The family is based on marriage, an act of freely given and faithful love between a man and a woman,” they said.
Yeah, Francis knows what you’re saying about the congregation at brunch after Sunday services.
“We all chat in church,” he said in 2015. “As Christians we chat. It is as if we want to put each other down… instead of growing, one makes the other feel small while I feel great. That will not do.”
In a well-received interpretation of Catholicism’s view on birth control, Francis said the church did not endorse rampant unprotected sex under the sanctity of marriage.
“God gives you methods to be responsible,” Francis said. “Some think that, excuse me if I use that word, that in order to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits. No. Responsible parenthood.”
“This culture of waste has made us insensitive even to the waste and disposal of food, which is even more despicable when all over the world many individuals and families are suffering from hunger and malnutrition. … We should all remember, however, that throwing food away is like stealing from the tables of the poor, the hungry.”