3. He is of Italian descent
Yes – although he was born in Argentina, his father was an Italian immigrant. And this made him the ideal bridge between the non-European, non-Italian Third World and the predominantly European, predominantly Italian leaders of the “Church”. It certainly made him far more acceptable to the hierarchy as pope, even though he was from a country outside of Europe. He “brings together the first world and the developing world in his own person. He’s a Latin American with Italian roots, who studied in Germany.”
In the words of South African priest, Chris Townsend, spokesman for the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the choice of Bergoglio was a significant acknowledgment that the “Church” of Rome’s “centre of gravity has moved out of Europe.” “It is a huge move from the cardinals,” he said. “We have in this man someone known to be very simple in his lifestyle, but as a Jesuit, he’s no fool.”
4. He is known as a doctrinal conservative
He is a scholar of Roman Catholic theology who studied in Germany (home of Ratzinger/Benedict XVI). When he gave his first speech after being elected as pontiff, he said: “Tomorrow I want to go to pray to the Madonna, that she may protect all of Rome.” He left the world in no doubt of his full commitment to the Romish goddess Mary! His first public act was to pray before an idol of this goddess. On another occasion he once said: “Mary’s deep relationship with the Eucharist can guide the faithful and allow people to get closer to God. She is the ‘model of the bond between the Lord and his bride, the church, between God and each man.’”
He has expressed his opposition to abortion, having called it a “death sentence” for the unborn. He has also expressed opposition to “euthanasia” and to sodomite “marriage”. When Argentina adopted sodomite “marriage”, Bergoglio, as archbishop, said “everyone loses” and “children need to have the right to be raised and educated by a father and a mother.” He labelled the “gay rights” movement as demonic in origin. This opposition put him at odds with Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernandez, who compared Bergoglio’s tone with “mediaeval times and the Inquisition”.
5. Yet – he is Marxist in economic and “social justice” matters!
Latin America is known for the number of its priests – particularly Jesuits – who have advocated the radical Catholic-Communist doctrine known as “liberation theology.” And certainly Bergoglio is an advocate of Marxist “social justice” causes. In 2007, while still a cardinal in Argentina, he said that there is an “unjust distribution of goods” in the world – a truly Marxist expression, and one which has been used in recent years in official Vatican documents calling for radical Marxist social policies to be implemented by a world authority. These were his words: “We live in the most unequal part of the world, which has grown the most yet reduced misery the least. The unjust distribution of goods persists, creating a situation of social sin that cries out to heaven and limits the possibilities of a fuller life for so many of our brothers.” This is a classic Jesuit “liberation theology” statement! It teaches there is such a thing as “social sin”: sin within the structures of society, which needs to be removed and replaced by Communist structures so that wealth can be “re-distributed” from the rich to the poor.
But his official biographer, Sergio Rubin, said of him: “Is Bergoglio a progressive – a liberation theologist even? No. He’s no third-world priest. Does he criticise the International Monetary Fund, and neo-liberalism? Yes. Does he spend a great deal of time in the slums? Yes.”
If we were to heed his official biographer – never a very wise course to follow – it would appear then that Bergoglio, despite being a Jesuit from Latin America where the Jesuits have been out-and-out Marxists, did not accept Marxism unreservedly, but preferred “social justice” causes without the classic Marxist extremist political activism and violence. But is this, in fact, true? By no means. As a South American Jesuit he certainly accepts Marxist economic and “social justice” concepts, and furthermore, as a Jesuit he would have no qualms about Marxist extremist political activism, if directed to it by the Jesuit general.
Let us delve a bit more deeply into this:
When he was the leading Jesuit in Argentina, that country was ruled by a brutal military regime; but it was an anti-Communist one. And Bergoglio had close ties to the regime, causing many to believe he was anti-Communist himself – which if true would put him at odds with most of Argentina’s Jesuits, who were fanatically and even violently supporting the pro-Communist revolution, readily taking up arms alongside the Marxist guerillas.
But all was not as it seemed! Never forget – when the subject is Jesuits, nothing is ever as it seems!
Two quotations, from two Roman Catholic publications: “[The 1970s and early 1980s] were the years of the military junta in Argentina, when many priests, including leading Jesuits, were gravitating towards the progressive liberation theology movement. As the Jesuit provincial, Bergoglio insisted on a more traditional reading of Ignatian spirituality, mandating that Jesuits continue to staff parishes and act as chaplains rather than moving into ‘base communities’ and political activism.” And: “He is a Jesuit… and during the terrible 1970s, when the dictatorship was raging and some of his confrères were ready to embrace the rifle and apply the lessons of Marx, he energetically opposed the tendency as provincial of the Society of Jesus in Argentina.”