One of the most relentlessly divisive and destructively uncompromising politicians of the modern age, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Absolut), met with Pope Francis Saturday morning and apparently came away dazzled by the experience. Later that day, her office issued a fulsome statement hailing the woke pontiff in extravagant terms, as you might have expected, for speaking out on climate change and other Leftist causes. She also praised him to the skies, however, for supposedly challenging her to do things she never does, such as accord her opponents basic courtesy and respect.
Pelosi, as is well known, identifies herself publicly as a Catholic, but she actually worships at the altar of modern secular Leftism and rejects core teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, including its opposition to abortion, which even Pope Francis, who has been known to play fast and loose with Church doctrines himself, upholds. But in her statement, she doesn’t say anything about abortion or any other unpleasant matters. Instead, she is in full pious-Catholic-Leftist mode.
“It was a spiritual, personal and official honor,” she proclaims, “to have an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis this morning. His Holiness’s leadership is a source of joy and hope for Catholics and for all people, challenging each of us to be good stewards of God’s creation, to act on climate, to embrace the refugee, the immigrant and the poor, and to recognize the dignity and divinity in everyone.”
See? Francis is a good pope, a “source of joy and hope for Catholics and for all people,” because he does his part to advance Leftist agendas on climate change and open borders. But that bit about recognizing “the dignity and divinity in everyone” is ironic coming from Madame Speaker. Was she recognizing “the dignity and divinity in everyone” when she tore up Trump’s State of the Union address? When she threw the hair salon where she got her hair done during the lockdown under the bus and blamed it for hosting her? When she claimed that the Republican Party was in the grip of a cult?
Pelosi, of course, didn’t mean that she felt challenged to recognize the dignity and divinity in conservatives. Dissidents from the Democrats’ authoritarian, socialist agenda are fit only to be vilified, marginalized, and silenced. She meant that the pope rebuked those right-wing, racist rednecks (in her view) who dared to oppose the idea that the southern border should be completely open to any and all comers, regardless of criminal record, terrorism links, etc. Opposing open borders means that you refuse to recognize the dignity and divinity in everyone, even murderous MS-13 thugs, and Pelosi wants you to know that in that case, the pope himself is unhappy with you.
The pope was useful for other items on the Leftist agenda as well: “His Holiness’s encyclical Laudato Si’ is a powerful challenge to the global community to act decisively on the climate crisis with special attention to the most vulnerable communities. I expressed the gratitude of those working on climate action in the Congress for the immense moral clarity and urgency that His Holiness continues to bring to the climate crisis, and how we continue to cherish his address to the Joint Session of Congress in 2015.”
First Things editor R. R. Reno noted of Laudato Si that in it, Francis “endorses the Earth Charter, a secular initiative. Its goal: ‘a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.’…Francis ends with meditations on the Church’s spiritual tradition and dogmas. The Eucharist ‘motivates us to greater concern for nature and the poor.’ The doctrine of the Trinity encourages a spirituality of ‘global solidarity.’ There’s little suggestion that Christian revelation, or even belief in God, judges and corrects the ecological movement and its consensus views about global warming. At most, it seems, our faith enriches the Earth Charter.” It’s easy to see why a “Catholic” of Pelosi’s ilk would love that.
Pelosi concludes her statement by saying that “His Holiness commands our attention to honor the Gospel of Matthew by serving ‘the least of these,’ lifting up those who have been left out or left behind, especially in the time of COVID. In San Francisco, we take special pride in Pope Francis, who shares the namesake of our city and whose song of St. Francis is our anthem. ‘Lord, make me a channel of thy peace. Where there is darkness, may we bring light. Where there is hatred, may we bring love. Where there is despair, may we bring hope.’”
Gee, that’s inspiring. Maybe Pelosi will be moved to do something about the homeless who made San Francisco a crime-ridden hellhole notorious for public defecation. But here again, those aren’t the people whose dignity and divinity the pope was helping her to recognize. Over the years, Pelosi has made it clear: The people who have dignity and inner divinity are those who help her politically. Not those who don’t. And even the pope is only useful when he says what she wants her constituency to hear.