Orwell said, “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” I accepted this quote as a truism but I also thought of it as an abstraction. History was in my eyes, more or less true. We might fudge on the details here and there but the essence is usually valid.
Never before have I seen history rewritten before my very eyes. Now the Pope is attacking high salaries and endorses economic equality. In a zillion spheres economic freedom has enriched the poor. Capitalist countries do not have famine. Period. When capitalism is watered down or worse, eliminated, the poor suffer and the productive are scapegoated. That is history repeated over and over and over. Now the Pope is rewriting history.
I was brought back to the pew by the "Catholics Come Home" advertising campaign. Surprisingly, I enjoyed my return more than I thought I would. Priests were friendlier than I had remembered them. Father Mark and Father Steve served up homilies that were everything homilies were supposed to be. I actually grew interested in the character and nuance of Catholicism. Saint Augustine and Ave Maria, that sort of thing.
Yes, there were leftists on the pulpit. I smelled trouble when I heard the sob stories of "undocumented people," "the common good" and bristled at other loaded terms. We look past such things and pray for clarity, especially for our leaders. But then we went from the subtle to the overt. The Pope denounces the machinery of prosperity and the machinery of freedom. That is a game changer.
I was fairly generous with the collection plate. No more. They can get Barack Obama or Michael Moore or Susan Sarandon to keep the lights on. I cannot worship in a church whose leader spews falsehood.