In a speech on Friday, from Rome to United Nations leaders, Pope Francis called for "the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society." Of course, most are well aware that “redistribution of economic benefits” is a very dressed up way of saying“government endorsed thievery.” One party wants what another party has and the only means of getting it is either to steal it themselves or have someone else steal it for them. The Pope's preferred course of thievery is a government initiated brand.
This is odd behavior for a so-called “man of the cloth” yet this type of socialistic chicanery is sadly all too common in some religious circles. The strange fact is that it flies in the face of the Biblical teaching that “if a man will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) Not to mention the universal command of “thou shalt not steal.” (Exodus 20:15) If the Pope would like to delve into the incredibly lucrative resources of the Catholic church to help the poor he is more than welcome to do so. Yet, this is not a suggestion he has made. Like a good liberal, he wants to slip his hand in your pocket and seize your assets against your will, in the name of “redistribution.” Economics aside, the Pope is displaying hypocrisy on a grand scale. Let him put his money where his mouth is and make his own personal contribution to the poor rather than calling for a bureaucratic takeover of others' resources.
The great irony here is his use of the word “legitimate” to describe this thievery. What, in his mind, makes it “legitimate?” In all likelihood, it's due to the fact that the stealing is conducted under the power of government. But the real question is this: How does something that is immoral for an individual suddenly become legitimate when done by a group of individuals (i.e., governments)? This question has not yet been answered by the pontiff; and it probably won't be. Because there is no good answer to such an immoral, not to mention illogical question.
If the Pope would seek to help the poor with personal contributions out of his own pocket, I would whole-heartedly commend him. Furthermore, if he called on private citizens to give of their own accord to help the poor, his efforts might be laudable. As would the efforts of those who gave. But to endorse thievery under the guise of “legitimacy” is to speak out of both sides of his mouth. It seems that some within Catholicism longed for a good, “socialist” pope who would do the liberals proud. They got their wish. He is such a good socialist that he encourages legitimate thievery.
If these are his views, then so be it. He's entitled to them. But it would be nice if he refrained from invoking the name of the Almighty; and stopped pretending to have divine endorsement to conduct the thievery that the “Word of God” so expressly condemns.
Shane Kastler is Pastor at the Heritage Baptist Church, Lake Charles, LA and Co-Host; "Church & State" KELB Radio, 100.5 FM. He blogs at The Narrow Road.