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Trump in Rome
by Stephen Lendman
On Wednesday, he arrived following his Riyadh and Israel visits. He and the pontiff are more alike than dissimilar, despite Vatican pretense.
Papal history isn’t pretty. Pontiffs notoriously meddle where they don’t belong. Liberation theology supporting social justice is verboten. 
Pope Francis’ high-minded rhetoric belies papal tradition, supporting wealth and power interests, paying lip service alone to popular needs and welfare.
The papacy is notoriously ultraconservative. In his book titled “God and His Demons,” Michael Parenti exposed the myth of organized religions being above reproach, criticizing Old and New Testament dogma.
He challenged notable religious figures, exposing their dark side. Author John Allen blasted Pope Benedict XVI, saying he “believe(d) the best antidote to political totalitarianism is ecclesial totalitarianism.”
He and other pontiffs exercised dictatorial powers, governing as they wished, their decrees having final say.
Pope John Paul II was involved in counter-revolutionary activities, supporting right-wing dictatorships, calling them “bulwarks against communis(m).”
Greed isn’t just good on Wall Street. Holy See self-enrichment comes at the expense of the faithful. Papal policies pursue reactionary goals.
Mixing religion with politics, Roman Catholicism and other hard-right faiths spread ideological extremism to mass audiences, claiming to serve God’s will. Fundamentalism dominates, liberal theology favoring equity and justice for everyone shut out.
Before becoming archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, then a cardinal in 2001, Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) supported Argentina’s military dictatorship (March 1976 – December 1983) – a brutal dirty war period backed by Washington.
Thousands were disappeared, 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. 
In his earlier capacity, Pope Francis was complicit in what went on, supporting instead of denouncing it responsibly.
His rhetoric belies his business as usual agenda. Welcoming Trump to the Vatican for a private audience ignores his war on humanity at home and abroad.
Later on Wednesday, he’ll fly to Brussels to meet with EU and NATO leaders, then a Sicily G7 summit on Friday before heading home over the weekend.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.