A little more than a month ago, Mr. Shaw, who frankly looks like he just started shaving, blasted the Pope as being the Catholic Church's Obama and not long after that, was fired from Catholic News Services for what Tony Spence, editor in chief of the wire service called, Shaw's "caustic condemnation of the apostolic exhortation and of Francis himself".
Pope Francis has declared war on those who aspire to provide a better life for themselves and their families, expressing the misguided snobbery of a man for whom money has never been an issue.
In the first week of his papacy, when briefing the media, the pope exclaimed:
“Oh how I long for a poor Church for the poor!”
This statement is a perfect summary of Francis’ papacy, a primary theme of which has been a peculiar dislike of prosperity. His first major document, -- “Evangelii Gaudium” -- was a prime example of his disdain for those who are not content to soak in poverty or to submit to socialism.
n the document, Francis says that “the powerful feed on the powerless” in a free market economy, and that those who engage in the market become “incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor.” He says the “culture of prosperity deadens us.”
The pope’s snub of the struggle for prosperity is a typically derisive attitude toward the American quest for self-development, and an attitude that is often encountered among rich European liberals, or, in this case, clergymen who have not had to work to provide a better life for their families.
As a Catholic in my 20s, recently married and with a baby, I can testify to this. I was never much interested in making money when I was single; I was happy to have enough to pay my rent, with some left over for a few books and a season ticket to my soccer club.
But like millions of fathers, I am now working hard -- not just to put food on the table, but to give my wife and child as comfortable and secure a life as I can.
Harsh words from a guy who was in diapers while this pope was twenty years or more into the priesthood and whose claim to fame to date is being a movie and video reviewer.
I'd be inclined to respect Shaw's opinions if I valued youth over experience, ignorance over enlightenment, man's ways over God's ways.
Mr. Shaw appears to me to have given in to the idol of ideology. He seems to be woefully ignorant of Catholic doctrine. And to suggest that this Pope is a snob is to reveal a telling level of denseness.
My hope is that someone of some prominence and influence will pull him aside and that he might be open to that pulling. I suspect he won't be. That openness comes only from a degree of maturity that seems to be out of Mr. Shaw's reach.
Let's hope the boy does some growing up and sooner rather than later.