Obama’s Duplicitous Remarks Welcoming Pope Francis
by Stephen Lendman
In welcoming the pontiff on the White House south lawn, Obama ignored his earlier disturbing record.
Before becoming Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and a cardinal in 2001, Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) fully supported Argentina’s CIA/Henry Kissinger backed coup, followed by military dictatorship (March 1976 – December 1983) – a brutal period of dirty war (la guerra sucia), much like under Pinochet in Chile for nearly 17 years.
Thousands were disappeared (los desaparecidos), held in detention centers, tortured and killed. Anyone expressing dissent or considered an ideological or political threat was vulnerable.
Communists, socialists, independent journalists, human rights supporters, trade unionists, priests endorsing social justice, and students were targeted. Junta power ended months after Britain defeated Argentina in the 1982 Falklands War.
Pope Francis in his earlier capacity was complicit in Argentina’s dirty war – waged to benefit wealth and power interests at the expense of social, economic and political justice.
Progressive liberation theology supporting social justice is verboten in Vatican City. The pontiff’s lofty rhetoric belies papal tradition – paying lip service alone to what ordinary people need and deserve.
Obama welcomed Pope Francis with effusive praise. He lied claiming how he himself earlier “work(ed) in impoverished neighborhoods with the Catholic Church in Chicago” helping the poor and needy.
He supported ethnic cleansing gentrification. Real estate and other financials interests profited hugely at the expense of ordinary people. His disdain for populism continued as a state and US senator.
He praised the Church for serving the poor and “giv(ing) voice and hope to those seeking to break the chains of violence and oppression.” In Latin America, it waged holy war on liberation theology, interpreting Christian faith “out of the experience of the poor.”
Francis is no liberation theologian. He’s a priest adhering to strict Vatican ideology, perhaps putting his stamp on modest changes, far short of radically transforming the church. Centuries of traditional policies continue.
Numerous popes preceding Francis condemned predatory capitalism while continuing full support where it’s practiced – notably in America, the pontiff’s visit to Washington, meeting Obama at the White House and addressing a joint congressional session (a privilege afforded only strong US allies, never critics) affirms it.
Speaking out against injustice is one thing, doing something meaningful to address it another thing entirely. On March 13, 2013, Francis’ papacy began. World conditions are notably worse than then, especially in America and European countries – waging more war on humanity, recklessly confronting Russia, increasing poverty and deprivation, ignoring human need.
Papal policies did nothing to change things. They haven’t tried beyond rhetoric accomplishing nothing. Obama’s praise rang hollow, saying the pontiff “remind(s) us that ‘Lord’s most powerful message’ is mercy.’ “
No president in US history showed less – waging endless wars on humanity at home and abroad, serving privileged interests exclusively, ignoring America’s most disadvantaged.
“(S)howing compassion and love for the marginalized and the outcast” was never his long suit. Increasing their misery continues on his watch – a rogue leader deploring peace, equity and justice, disdainful of morality, democracy and rule of law principles, responsible for millions of deaths and mass destruction, a reckless agenda threatening humanity’s survival.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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