Pope Francis was extremely vocal in his opposition towards Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign season when he said that we should build longer tables instead of building walls. Except he didn’t consider some of the occupants at that extra long table would include MS-13 gang members.
But Pope Francis might be coming around to the Trump administration’s ideologies afterall because he recently confounded the liberal media by refusing to give in to reporters’ bait about bashing the president. He sidestepped the minefield and refused to respond to it, which was smart.
But now a new speech by Pope Francis certainly indicates that President Trump and his policies have persuaded him.
“Speaking to workers and business people in Italy’s port city of Genoa Saturday, Pope Francis surprised his hearers by praising entrepreneurship and touting the importance of healthy businesses for the economy.
‘There can’t be a good economy without good businessmen, without their capacity to create and to produce,’ he said, shattering his reputation as an enemy of the free market economy.
The Pope met with ‘representatives of the world of work,’ including businessmen, workers and unemployed persons at the Ilva steel plant in Genoa Saturday, fielding their questions and reflecting refleing with them on a Christian view of the economy.
The Pope recognized that the essential value of work and employment is only possible when companies are sound and successful. Moreover, only an economically healthy society can keep a democracy afloat, he suggested.
‘The world of work is a human priority,’ Francis said, ‘and it’s also a priority for the pope. There’s always been a friendship between the church and work, starting with Jesus, who was a worker.’
‘When work is weakened, it’s democracy that enters into crisis,” he said. “There’s a social compact.’
Without denouncing unemployment benefits, Francis insisted that state intervention wasn’t a real solution. ‘A monthly check from the state that allows you to keep the family afloat doesn’t solve the problem.
It has to be resolved with work for everyone,’ he said.
The Pope went on to underscore differences between healthy entrepreneurship and financial ‘speculation,’ the latter of which he called both dangerous and unethical.
‘A sickness of the economy is the progressive transformation of business people into speculators,’ Francis said. ‘A speculator is a figure similar to what Jesus in the gospels called ‘hired-hands’ as opposed to good shepherds.’”
Months ago, Pope Francis had a pro-globalist, anti-business point of view. He’s certainly done a 180 now though.
But, why? What has specifically altered his perspective?
Maybe it was the recent meeting with President Trump that changed his mind.
Or is it possible that he notices how well the stock market is doing under Trump’s administration and is starting to recognize how much of a detrimental stronghold ISIS has on the world?
“’Business is a noble vocation,’ the Pope continued, ‘directed to producing wealth and improving the world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good.’
Time and time again Pope Francis has shown that he is more complex and unpredictable than both his critics and his boosters suppose.
While focusing his attention on helping the poor, he has also suggested that the free market system may be the best instrument to do just that.”
And who knows what future ideological train Pope Francis might board next.