Pope Benedict is clearly taking the road of appeasement with Communism. The most horrifying example of this is his appeasement of China. The latest example is his visit to Cuba. Is it appeasement merely because he traveled there and met with Castor? In part. What is at the core of the appeasement, however, are his words and his inaction.
Rather than merely presenting the facts, let me set them in contrast with, and in addition to, a partial expose of the pope's appeasement by one of the pope's apologists, Phil Lawler. As the director of an excellent Catholic news website, Phil wrote an editorial entitled The Pope in Cuba: too many concessions to the Castro regime? The fact that Phil took on the issue indicated that either the chatter is picking up, or that the pope's appeasement is becoming too great to ignore. The fact that he penned some 1240 words means that it's getting harder to spin, too. Here are some excerpts:
Some analysts worry that Pope Benedict’s trip to Cuba might help prop up the Castro government. Others believe that the papal visit could prove the tipping point that finally leads to the collapse of a bankrupt regime. There are intelligent arguments on both sides.
Cynics will always tend toward the belief that the Church conceded too much.
In Cuba, skeptics were already complaining that their country’s own bishops had made imprudent deals with the regime.
To extract concessions, the hierarchy made a few of its own concessions to the regime.
Pope Benedict met with the Castros but not with their leading opponents. That was a victory for the regime, unquestionably. Yet the Holy Father also called for change, remarked that Marxism has failed, and rallied the forces that could eventually oust the Castro government.
When Church leaders make political judgments, they are always fallible.
I cannot claim to have a final answer regarding the questions about the Pope’s trip to Cuba.
The article is a well written spin piece. Phil begins by complementing the opposition as "intelligent," but quickly labels them "cynics" and "skeptics." Like the pope, Phil grants concessions, even some painful ones, such as, "That was a victory for the regime." He even notes how the pope can err in politics. In the final analysis, however, Phil takes the safe ground, saying that the final answer is beyond him. Again, read the whole article here.
A reader who didn't have more facts would be likely to give the pope the benefit of the doubt. But if they knew of Phil's two omissions and one factual twist, the judgment would likely be different.
The first omission regards Cardinal Ortega. That villain has not only made "concessions," as Phil noted, but has handed over the faithful to Castro's KGB-trained goon squads. Just a week before the pope came, Ortega called Castro's police to drag anti-communist Catholics out of church! No, this isn't the pope's fault. But is the pope ignorant? What did the pope do about it? Is this worth giving Castro a PR boost?
The second omission regards the pope's call for "change." One of the changes he wanted is from the U.S. From Zenit:
On a more overtly political note the Pope referred to the limitations on basic freedoms and also to restrictive economic measures imposed from outside that “unfairly burden” the people of Cuba. ... "The present hour urgently demands that in personal, national and international co-existence we reject immovable positions and unilateral viewpoints ..."
So, it's the U.S. that "unfairly burdens" Cubans, is "immovable" and "unilateral." Good grief. It's our fault that Cuba is a third-world hell hole? (Maybe Jack Kennedy's!) Is the pope trying to boost Obama, too? Hussein could now beatify Castro, lift sanctions, and claim he's following the pope!
The factual twist, that the pope said Marxism is a failure, is not unique to Phil. What the pope actually said is, "Today it is evident that Marxist ideology in the way it was conceived no longer corresponds to reality." No longer? What was the pope trying to say? Was he just avoiding any offense to Castro? Rather than hearing my spin on it, consider a remarkably similar statement by Castro just two years ago. From the same article: "In 2010, Fidel Castro told a reporter for the Atlantic magazine that the `Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore,' which some commentators interpreted as a recognition that communism had failed in Cuba." Did Castro mean that Marxism had failed? No. Continuing: "Castro later said the remark was not meant as a criticism of Cuba's communist revolution, but was instead directed at the island's difficult economic conditions." Maybe that's all the pope was saying, too?
In the final analysis, I, unlike Phil, am willing to make a judgment about the pope's appeasement of communism. No, I don't think the pope is a Marxist. The good God cannot allow a Marxist on the Throne. The pope is weak, however. I suspect he has many communist friends with whom he has much sympathy. I suspect he has fallen to the point of imagining that the new post-Vatican-II openness of the Church can magically soften the hearts of commies. In this, he forgets the warning of Our Lady of Fatima.
Pray the Rosary for the pope and for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.