Dec 09 2013
Pope Francis has made headlines yet again for announcing a new investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests. His predecessor, Pope Benedictus, had also overseen an internal investigation but was implicated in covering up sexual crimes.
To many, Pope Francis represents a radical change from past orthodoxy. In addition to his recent statements denouncing the ills of modern global capitalism, there are reports of him quietly stepping out of the halls of the Vatican at night to help poor and homeless people. The Pope has spoken out strongly in favor of women’s rights, dismissed the church’s obsession with social issues like gay marriage, and stripped down many of ceremonial aspects of the Catholic church in favor of simpler vestments.
While the Pope was quoted last week in President Obama’s speech on economic inequality, he has also come under fire for some of his views, most notably from right wing shock-jock, Rush Limbaugh who called the Pope, President Obama’s “best friend,” and accused him of “ripping America,” and “ripping capitalism.”
Despite many signs of reform, the Pope still maintains that women cannot be ordained, the abortion is evil, and oversees a vast economic fortune in the Vatican’s treasury.
GUEST: Blase Bonpane, the Director of the Office of the Americas, and a life-long human rights activist whose work took him to Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and many other countries. He entered the priesthood early in his life, but eventually broke with the church over his political views. Blase Bonpane wrote his autobiography called Imagine No Religion and also hosts KPFK’s World Focus every Sunday at 10 am.