The apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis called Evangelii gaudium (the Joy of the Gospel) has already stirred up lots of passions all around the world.
My friends on the left, politically speaking, sing his praises, because of his sharp critique of present day capitalism, in spite of the fact that the Pope declares he has no allegiance to any ideology. Yet, he is not, as they wish, a socialist; not even a liberation theologian.He only speaks as a gospel man, one who is acquainted with Christ’s bias for the poor and the oppressed
At the same time, those on the right politically suspect he is a liberal, in spite of the care with which he tries to deal with delicate matters, like those of abortion, or homosexuality, or women ordination. Though not a traditionalist, he is not a revolutionary either. He is, I repeat, a gospel man, a Christ-like leader, and, as such, he upsets everybody in every ideological camp.
A good example of that is Rev. Robert A Sirico, from the very conservative Acton Institute in the US. In the (otherwise very decent) video message below, he strongly rejects the legitimacy of the pope’s indictment against unregulated markets. He simply denies that such a thing as deregulated markets exist anywhere. That is what ideology does to people. It blinds them to evidences. It is a matter of fact, NOT interpretation that the present world economic crisis was produced because markets were deregulated at the incentive of neoconservatives like Sirico. you can watch the message at the link below and decide for yourselves.
Martin Marty discusses himself the reactions to the pope’s exhortation in his latest Sightings. You may read it HERE.
The conversation on this topic has only started and I am sure this incredible pope will give us more and more reasons pf hope. Let us pray that he stays healthy and safe, as he has already made lots of enemies, including in the Vatican.