Bolivia: Francis, and the Hammer and Sickle

Bolivia: Francis, and the Hammer and Sickle
One cannot understand how Pope Francis surrounds himself with revolutionary leaders, assumes their ideas are good, and gives them a virtually unconditional support without first hearing renowned specialists who contend—with concrete data to back them up—that private property, free enterprise and the principle of subsidiarity have been a source of social progress and poverty reduction around the world, in spite of deficiencies that should be corrected. Socialism, on the contrary, has been and continues to be (e.g. communist Cuba and Venezuela) an economic system that intrinsically produces poverty, class struggle, and social conflict

“Chavez died. Fidel is sick. Francis has taken up that leadership role and is doing everything right,” boasted João Pedro Stédile of Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement (MST), one of the organizers of the Second World Meeting of Popular Movements, speaking during the event at Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

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1. On July 9 in Santa Cruz, during the Second World Meeting of Popular Movements Pope Francis delivered a long and impassioned speech against capitalism and private property to cheering Marxist revolutionary leaders and followers of liberation theology.

2. Among those leaders, in addition to Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, whose jacket bore a large picture of blood-thirsty “Che” Guevara, were Brazilian João Pedro Stédile, leader of the Landless Workers Movement (MST), which has promoted revolutionary violence for decades in the Brazilian countryside, and Argentine Trotskyite Juan Grabois, specialized in promoting urban agitation on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, head of the Confederation of Workers of the Popular Economy, and member of the organizing committee of the Second World Meeting of Popular Movements.

3. Along with other delegates present, these people rank among the worst Latin American revolutionary leaders that remained from the times of communism. Yet, Francis treated them as if they were the very best of the best, asserting that their actions were “motivated by brotherly love,” promoting “positive change” in society, and doing a genuine work of “social poets.” Francis encouraged them by saying, “Our faith is revolutionary,” adding, “I have carried you in my heart.” Francis’ support of these revolutionary shock troops could not have been greater. “Chavez died. Fidel is sick. Francis has taken up that leadership role and is doing everything right,” boasted João Pedro Stédile of Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement (MST), one of the organizers of the Second World Meeting of Popular Movements, speaking during the event at Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.1

4. In a fiery speech, Francis placed the goals of their socioeconomic revolution together with those of his own ecological revolution, giving primacy to the latter, “perhaps the most important thing we should take up today.” However, this papal speech and the recent encyclical letter Laudato Si suffer from a significant and worrisome scientific “gap” which, with all due respect, affect a fundamental premise of both documents. It is the thesis defended by the most extreme environmentalists and entirely subscribed to by Francis, that human activity and not natural cycles are the main culprits for current climate changes. This thesis is not unanimously supported in the most respected scientific circles and has been challenged by high-level academic work.

It is not known on what specific scientific studies and ecological experts the pontiff based himself, because the bibliography in both texts cites no document in this regard. It is also important to recall that, on April 27 of this year, 100 environmental scientists sent Francis a letter imploring him not to allow himself to be misled by the arguments of radical environmentalists and by analyses which have not been demonstrated by environmental science. The letter added that, under the pretext of helping the poor, revolutionary environmentalists are actually contributing with their proposals to increase misery around the world.2

5. The same revolutionary leaders had already received words of praise from Pope Francis when the First World Meeting of Popular Movements was held at the Vatican in October 2014. For those revolutionary leaders of Marxist inspiration, that was, so to speak, a kind of media-op “beatification” still in this life, becoming one-of-a-kind “blessed” of an “upside down church” actually opposed to the Catholic social doctrine taught by Francis’ predecessors.3

6. In his speech in Santa Cruz, Francis acknowledged that “neither the Pope nor the Church have a monopoly on the interpretation of social reality.” So it is not possible to understand how Pope Francis surrounds himself with revolutionary leaders, assumes their ideas are good, and gives them a virtually unconditional support without first hearing renowned specialists who contend—with concrete data to back them up—that private property, free enterprise and the principle of subsidiarity have been a source of social progress and poverty reduction around the world, in spite of deficiencies that should be corrected. Socialism, on the contrary, has been and continues to be (e.g. communist Cuba and Venezuela) an economic system that intrinsically produces misery, class struggle, and social conflict.

7. Accordingly, a few hours earlier in La Paz, President Evo Morales had given Francis, along with the Andean Condor decoration, the Luis Espinal Award in memory of a revolutionary priest murdered in 1980; this medal contains a blasphemous depiction of Jesus Christ on a hammer and sickle, the symbol of communism. Francis was also given a replica in natural size of the original wood carving made by the priest.

8. This blasphemous medal appears to be a tragic foreshadowing symbol of the directions being assumed by Francis’ pontificate in the political and social areas. ACI Catholic news agency reported that Francis decided to have both awards placed at the feet of the statue of Our Lady of Copacabana, Patroness of Bolivia. To him, these awards are “symbols of affection and closeness” and he received them from President Evo Morales with “cordial and generous affection.”4

Footnotes

  1. Cruz (cf. Fabiano Maisonnave, special envoy to Bolivia, in Folha de S. Paulo, Jul. 8, 2015)
  2. (cf. Destaque Internacional, “Francisco, Eco-adventure, and ‘Scientific Lagoon’, Jun. 22, 2015, http://www.cubdest.org/1506/c1507franciscoeco.htm)
  3. (cf. Destaque Internacional: “Francisco, Publicity ‘Beatification’ of Revolutionaries, and ‘Social Storm’, Nov. 2, 2014, http://www.cubdest.org/1406/c1411franciscomst.htm, and Nelson Ramos Barreto, “World Meeting of Popular Movements at the Vatican,” Nov. 12, 2014, http://ipco.org.br/ipco/noticias/encontro-mundial-de-movimentos-populares-vaticano#.VaCagvlViiA)
  4. (cf. ACI, July 10, 2015, link with photo of the blasphemous award: https://www.aciprensa.com/noticias/el-papa-francisco-deja-en-bolivia-condecoraciones-que-le-dio-evo-morales-77266/

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