The Pope Is Catholic, It Turns Out

The Pope Is Catholic, It Turns Out
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Sarah Palin may have been on to something when she coined the term "lamestream media" to describe spectacularly poor journalism.

In an annual speech to foreign diplomats, Pope Francis told over 180 ambassadors to the Holy See on Monday that world peace is "threatened by every denial of human dignity," in what he has often called a "throwaway culture."

"What is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as 'unnecessary,'" Francis lamented. "It is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."

The Pope's comments were apparently breaking news in the mainstream media.

Reuters called them a "nod to conservatives" and said they were his "toughest remarks to date on abortion." The Associated Press explained that Francis "prefers to speak less about the church's moralizing rules and more about its positive, welcoming message." Along that same line, USA Today reported Pope Francis has "stayed away from strong statements on the church's stands on moral behavior of individuals, preferring to focus on more positive messages about the teachings of Jesus Christ and the need to see to the poor."

But Pope Francis has condemned abortion before, and even used the same language to do it. Francis has denounced the "throwaway culture" as early as July, then in September, again in October, in his Novemer apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, and just last month. What's more, Francis's passing mention of abortion Monday wasn't even his "toughest" or "strongest." In September remarks to a group of Catholic gynecologists, the Pope said that the "throwaway culture" mentality "calls for the elimination of human beings, above all if they are physically or socially weaker. Our response to that mentality is a decisive and unhesitating 'yes' to life." This response comes "not as a matter of faith, but of reason and science," the Pope argued.

Not to worry, the Associated Press said, this was just an "olive branch of sorts to the doctrine-minded, conservative wing of the Catholic Church."

The media narrative of Pope Francis is that "it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time," as Francis famously told an Italian Jesuit journal, and that the Church "cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently." Whatever doesn't complement this narrative is ignored, except for when it can't be ignored, and then it's explained as an anomaly. That silly Pope went off-script!

While the press were busy trying to interpret Evangelii Gaudium as the second coming of John Maynard Keynes's General Theory, they happened to miss this in paragraph 213: "defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development."

But Pope Francis is a "radical Pope." He's going to make women cardinals. He has "abolished" sin! No, the Pope has not abolished sin and when it comes to abortion "the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question," he declared in Evangelii Gaudium. "This is not something subject to alleged reforms or 'modernizations,'" Francis wrote in an apparent rebuff of media coverage. "It is not 'progressive' to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life."

The Pope is Catholic, it turns out.

Nicholas G. Hahn III is the editor of RealClearReligion. Follow him on Twitter @NGHahn3.

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