Does that sound like something you once got punished for calling your little brother? Properly raised grown-ups refrain from even thinking language like that, much less using it. Unless you happen to be Pope.
In the most important speech (the format and the footnotes set it apart from other, less formal talks) of his trip back home to Latin America, Pope Francis addressed a group of leaders of popular movements of students, workers, campesinos and others. He denounced the injustices of the global structure today, and the violence done to the people and the planet by rapacious greed.
The “dung of the devil” phrase, by the way, was coined by St. Basil of Caesarea, denouncing the thirst for money in his own day (the fifth century), so it’s not really a new line, though it is perhaps a shocking line for a Pope to quote.
There are plenty of other shocking lines in the text, such as:
– “we must oppose neocolonialism,”
– “inequality generates violence,” and
– “our faith is revolutionary,” to quote only a few.
If this is what he says in the green wood, speaking to leaders of and spokespeople for the poor, what will he say in the dry, when he preaches to a joint session of Congress in September?
Read this speech. Please.
And read it to yourself out loud, trying to imagine what it sounded like when Francis preached it is his native Spanish to a congregation of folks not unaccustomed to hearing vigor, emotion, and sometimes even fire from the pulpit. (See full text of the speech)
And then think and pray about it. Our spiritual leader, our holy father, sees the global capitalist system that we take for granted as the only possible framework for civilized life in the modern world as the Dung of the Devil. Next thing you know, he’ll be overturning money changers’ tables. And you know what happens to people who do things like that.
Do you and I have enough guts to stand with this man?
— Fr. Richard Lawrence