POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
Austere lifestyle tells us very little about the character of a man as leader.
Stalin wore modest uniforms most of the time and worked about 16 hours a day.
Hitler too was a man of fairly modest tastes, wearing a modest uniform, being a vegetarian, and often having a polite tea with his secretaries.
Pope Francis's behavior around the junta was the ethical question which immediately sprang to mind.
While not definitive, this article makes it clear enough he was not an admirable figure during those horrors.
The issue of his behavior over two arrested members of his Jesuit order seems almost a sideshow.
Many thousands were killed by being illegally arrested, drugged, and thrown out of aircraft over the ocean.
Obama has extra-judicially killed 4700 people with drones without a word of disapproval from Rome.
Any man claiming moral authority who does not speak against that is worthy of neither respect or nor admiration.
But then that has always been the behavior of the Catholic Church.
The popes blubber about peace but never speak to those starting wars or those committing great evils.
George Bush happily killed a million people with no disapproval from the pope.
Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon killed some 3 million in Vietnam without any opposition from the pope.
Hitler had a concordat with the pope.
Fascist Italy did too.
As did Napoleon.
When Catherine de' Medici began an orgy of murder of Huguenots (protestants) in France - an event called the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre - the pope honored her "achievement" with the striking of a gold medal.
It is a long and quite shameful history, without even touching on Rome's behavior over countless years of sexual abuse of children.
Anyone who sees the pope as a moral force in the world is just reciting meaningless words.