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Letter: Turner’s criticism of pope is appalling

Turner’s criticism of pope is appalling

Even as a lapsed Catholic, I’m disgusted by Doug Turner’s treatise on Pope Francis. Turner’s sly misclassification of the pope as a strident militant is subversive and incendiary.

Turner refers to the pope’s “militant” stance on the environment and climate change. Militant means “combative and aggressive” in support of a cause. Francis is neither of those things; rather, he is acting in his capacity as Christ’s representative, speaking with both passion and compassion. I understand this to be the true meaning and purpose of the papacy.

As I was taught, Christ espoused principles of care and protection of both humanity and our world. Actually, these values sound pretty close to our nation’s ideals – caring for the needy, protecting and tending our nation, seeking to ensure well-being to every extent we can.

It is not militant to be concerned about our stewardship of the earth. But Turner and the conservative right wing cater to big money interests while actively opposing limits on environmental damage. The conservatives’ immature mindset requires immediate gratification (massive corporate gains, cheap oil, fewer legal restraints) rather than sustained long-term progress (slowing of climate change, clean air and water, long-term jobs through the growth of alternative energies).

Most offensive to me is the implication that, essentially, the pope ought to mind his own business – meaning, stay out of political/global concerns and stick with fundamental Catholic values. Yet at the same time, conservatives are happy to invade every area of American life with their interpretation of what God wants. Standing against gay rights, fostering huge corporate profits, winking at gun violence, opposing rights for women, ignoring the climate and thumbing our nose at future generations? If these are Turner’s “values,” he needs to go back to school.

Nancy Denault Weiss, CSW, LMSW