As we went to press, The Holy Father was finishing off his tour of Cuba that saw him meet Fidel Castro.
Our team decided to do a brief "retrospective" on the Pope's Climate Change encyclical which has drawn some fire recently from the more conservative elements of the Republican Party. Our team found is especially funny as the conservative firebrand Michelle Malkin noted how the Vatican should embrace Air Conditioning. We released this to the Daily Outsider Twitter Feed earlier today:
On the eve of the @Pontifex visit to US, reflections on his encyclical on climate change – as it happened http://t.co/jRGhENQdsq— The Daily Outsider (@DailyOutsider) September 21, 2015
We also wanted to report on this open letter from the Marshall Project we periodically consult as the Holy Father will be visiting a Prison in Philadelphia which is also remarkable that underscores the commitment he has to social justice everywhere around the World:
Dear Pope Francis. You are about to enter Philadelphia’s largest jail. Here’s what you should know. The facility is dangerously overcrowded. Inmates are subjected to humiliating treatment, including beatings that have been recorded on video. And local officials are constantly battling with judges and federal investigators over the pace of reform. It is a microcosm of America’s debate over the state of corrections. A letter from The Marshall Project. THE MARSHALL PROJECT
The Washington Post's James Hohman in his "Daily 202" had an interesting take on the views of the Holy Father notable for all to review:
- He wants to open Cuba. His Vatican played a central behind-the-scenes role in last year’s secret U.S.-Cuba negotiations. Long before he was elevated to the papacy, with a book he wrote in the ’90s, Francis spoke out against the American embargo. Visiting Cuba this weekend, he praised the thaw between the two long-estranged neighbors as “an example of reconciliation for the entire world” that “fills us with hope.”
- He strongly backs immigration reform. The pope has decried the “inhuman” conditions that migrants face coming to the U.S. from Mexico, and he’s proddedEurope to accept more Syrian refugees. “I expect that Francis, in his address to Congress, will challenge our national conscience on immigration and remind us of the growing human toll resulting from our indifference and failures of political will,” Jose H. Gomez, the archbishop of Los Angeles, the nation’s largest Catholic community, writes in an op-ed for today’s Wall Street Journal. “In calling Americans to compassion and hospitality, he will also be calling us to reclaim our roots as a nation of immigrants and a refuge for the world’s downtrodden.”
- He calls for aggressive climate change action. The Pope issued a 184-page encyclical on climate change this summer, saying humans are mostly to blame. “The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth,” he said, describing global warming as “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”
- He supports the Iran nuclear deal. Last week, at the International Atomic Energy Agency conference in Vienna, the Vatican’s foreign minister praised President Obama’s agreement, saying that “the way to resolve disputes and difficulties should always be that of dialogue and negotiation.”
- He recognizes Palestinian statehood. The Vatican signed a May treaty that was widely criticized by Jewish leaders in both Israel and the U.S.
- He talks about income inequality more than even the Democratic presidential candidates. Francis spent decades pastoring in the slums. “Inequality is the root of social evil,” Francis says. He decries “trickle-down theories” as a “structurally perverse economic system.” Visiting Bolivia this summer, the Pope called the unfettered pursuit of money “the dung of the devil.” He says the problems of the poor should be “radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation.”
- A devotee of social justice, this Pope has repeatedly urged more public assistance for the poor. “Politics, though often denigrated, remains a lofty vocation,” Francis wrote in a 2013 exhortation. “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor! It is vital that government leaders and financial leaders take heed and broaden their horizons, working to ensure that all citizens have dignified work, education and healthcare.”
It was also quite remarkable as Politico just reported that the United States has apparently reached out to the Vatican to assist with the release of the 4 Americans being held in Iran. We here @ #Outsiders are also following the case of the 4 Americans and will provide commentary as required.