Pope Francis’s Rhetoric Almost Too Good to Be True

Between his speech to the UN and Laudato Si’, his papal encyclical on the environment, Pope Francis has pointed a way forward for mankind. (Photo: Alfredo Borba / Wikimedia Commons)

Between his speech to the UN and Laudato Si’, his papal encyclical on the environment, Pope Francis has pointed a way forward for mankind. (Photo: Alfredo Borba / Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Francis will never be all things to all people — such as half of them: women.   For example, while in the United States, he supported the right of Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk to refused to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples (albeit under the guise of conscientious objection). Nevertheless, his election as pope had to constitute one the most extreme institutional about-faces in recent history. It surpasses Barack Obama succeeding George W. Bush as president and even Bill de Blasio succeeding Mike Bloomberg and Rudolph Giuliani. The speech that Pope Francis delivered to the United Nations on Sept. 25 struck all the right chords for forward-thinking individuals everywhere.

In fact, it was an almost textbook leftist critique of governments and corporations that had to thrill progressives and even make the hardened hearts of radicals sing. For example, speaking about the UN itself …

… reform and adaptation to the times is always necessary in the pursuit of the ultimate goal of granting all countries, without exception, a share in, and a genuine and equitable influence on, decision-making processes. The need for greater equity is especially true in the case of those bodies with effective executive capability, such as the Security Council. … The International Financial Agencies are should [sic] care for the sustainable development of countries and should ensure that they are not subjected to oppressive lending systems which, far from promoting progress, subject people to mechanisms which generate greater poverty, exclusion and dependence.

And …

The effective distribution of power … among a plurality of subjects, and the creation of a juridical system for regulating claims and interests, are one concrete way of limiting power. Yet today’s world presents us with many false rights and – at the same time – broad sectors which are vulnerable, victims of power badly exercised: for example, the natural environment and the vast ranks of the excluded. These sectors are closely interconnected and made increasingly fragile by dominant political and economic relationships.

That is why their rights must be forcefully affirmed, by working to protect the environment and by putting an end to exclusion.

It’s hard to imagine a pope or an executive of any type creating the type of textbook analysis more typical of an academic or a political analyst. As for who draws out Pope Francis’s speeches, in November 2013, Vatican Insider reported:

Although the position of ghost writer does not officially exist in the Vatican, the person in charge of coordinating the preparation of the Pope’s speeches does act like a sort of ghost writer. Two weeks ago Francis appointed Giampiero Gloder as Bishop and President of the Ecclesiastical Academy, the school that trains the Vatican’s future diplomats. Gloder worked with Benedict XVI during the final years of his pontificate and assisted Francis from March until today.