Is the pope Catholic? You wouldn’t think so if you listened to Fox friend and theologian wannabe Rachel Campos-Duffy and U.S. Senate candidate from Ohio and theologian wannabe JD Vance who are very disappointed that the pope isn’t preaching the gospel according to Fox News!
Campos-Duffy, devout Catholic mother of nine who somehow finds time to co-host a Fox News morning show, set the tone with her right-wing, partisan-tinged introduction. After noting that President Joe Biden had met with the pope, an advocate for climate change action, she added “but with his party divided and his domestic agenda in jeopardy, is climate change, really, the most pressing matter?”
She tossed to JD Vance, “Hillbilly Elegy” author and candidate for the U.S. Senate and informed us that he is a Catholic convert. (He converted in 2019.)
She asked Vance what he hoped the pope and the president would have discussed and added that, according to reports, they discussed, OMG, the “moral responsibility of climate change.”
Vance pontificated (!) that his attraction to Catholicism and Christianity is that they deal with “timeless and eternal truths.” His appeal to right-wing Catholic Fox watchers was obvious in his examples of these principles: “From the sanctity of human life to, of course the abortion issue, the importance of families, of fathers being in the home.” He continued to preach about how “we know that one of the biggest drivers of childhood poverty in this country is the lack of fathers in the home.”
In articulating more Christian-right talking points, he lamented that the pope did not discuss “those timeless issues instead of focusing on the liberal order of the day.”
The propaganda sermon continued: “At the end of the day, the Christian just isn’t about feel good, liberal politics with some grandfather in the sky. It’s a deeply-rooted tradition that I feel should inform policy in a very rich way.” Vance speculated that from President Biden’s “perception” of the meeting, “it was really a garden variety of conversation about liberal politics" which was a “missed opportunity.”
Campos-Duffy, neither a member of the Catholic clergy nor a secular theologian, continued the dogma lesson with her statement about how the concept of the family is basic to Christianity. She quoted a Catholic canon about how those who are in “grave sin” can’t get Communion,” yet, according to Biden, the Pope told him that he was “a good Catholic” who is entitled to Communion. Campos-Duffy wondered if the Pope told Biden to “go to confession first.”
Campos-Duffy asserted that abortion “is causing a lot of confusion among rank-and-file Catholics.” In agreeing with her, Vance continued his whining spiel, directed toward conservative Catholics, that Catholics, like Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi “come to Rome to get the blessing of the pope and they use it as a cover to attack their ultra-liberal policies.”
Vance said that if got the opportunity to meet with the pope, he would tell him that “these liberal politicians are really using you to get a good political moment out of this without really investigating the core reasons why they’re not popular among Christians in their own country.”
Despite the reality that many mainstream Protestant denominations support choice, Vance, who supports the draconian TX abortion law and does not support rape/incest exceptions in anti-choice legislation, provided one last Christian-right talking point: “At the end of the day, Christians really believe in protecting the sanctity of the unborn. That’s a really critical part of the Catholic faith, but also other Christian denominations.”
He finished with an attack on Biden who “claims to be a devout Christian but who is pursuing the most pro-abortion, anti-life agenda I’ve ever seen in my life."
“Something about that doesn’t make sense.” Campos-Duffy, as “a fellow Catholic,” agreed.
First, Rachel Campos-Duffy might think that she’s some kind of uber-Catholic, but here’s the thing – Joe Biden’s Washington, D.C. Bishop will not deny Communion to the president.
Second, using the pope to slander Democrats and push a right-wing political agenda doesn’t seem to be in accordance with Catholic principles, but the Fox congregation make their own rules and the pope is too liberal, so who cares?
You can watch the sermonettes below, from the October 30, 2021 Fox & Friends.
As the decades passed since then, I’ve never ceased to be dumbfounded at the depths of cruelty towards children of far too many so-called christians.
I attended a Catholic grade school in 4th & 5th grades …and I remember crying as I told my parents that the nuns had told me that they could never, ever, not no-how, get to heaven because they each had a divorce in their past.
My mother consoled me, and the very next day I was in the public school. My days as an altar boy were over!
Yes, this pope is better, and sometimes even sounds rational. Unfortunately, he is 50 years too late.
While I don’t agree with the Pope on many social issues (abortion, contraception, gender roles within the Church, etc.), he’s done a lot more to make the Church more “Christian” (aka less greedy) than his predecessors: he’s taken a genuinely strong position against organised crime by declaring that the clergy should refuse communion to members of the Mafia, the Camorra, the N’Drangheta; he’s pushing for the entire clergy to pay genuine attention to the eradication of poverty; he fully realizes the need to address climate change; and he doesn’t expect Catholics to be hard-liners like some Protestant sects. With a few tweaks, he’d be my candidate as a faithful follower of Jesus as presented in the Bible. Can’t have everything, but I’m grateful for what he’s doing anyway. I only hope the next Pope won’t be someone like Dolan, who’s quite the opposite of Bergoglio.