Francis and Biden, Ideological Brothers

In courting Catholic voters, Joe Biden never fails to mention his friendliness with Pope Francis. He boasts that he knows him “as well as anybody” and that they share the same spin on “social justice.” “We need to create a culture which, as Pope Francis reminds us, cannot just be based on the worship of money,” Biden has said. “We cannot accept a nation in which billionaires compete as to the size of their super-yachts.”

Biden’s ruminations on wealth haven’t stopped him from chasing it. He is now a multimillionaire. As his bank account expands, so do his thoughts on the dangers of “income inequity.” His tax policy is straightforwardly socialist, based not on the legitimate needs of government but on wealth redistribution: “And the fact of the matter is, there is plenty — plenty! — of money to go around.”

In Pope Francis, whose musings run along the same course, Biden finds an ideological ally. Indeed, the pope’s latest encyclical on fraternity, Fratelli Tutti, reads like one of Biden’s campaign speeches. Published on the eve of the American election, the encyclical is a compendium of the pope’s greatest liberal hits: climate change alarmism, calls for open borders, opposition to the death penalty and even life sentences, the promotion of “international institutions” and pacifism, the demotion of “populism” and any notion of “just war,” and plenty of capitalism bashing and religious relativism. All of it should set Biden’s heart aflutter.PThe pope’s reduction of Catholicism to liberal politics with a dash of holy water on top gives Biden an out whenever his baldly anti-Catholic positions come under scrutiny. He can portray himself as a “Pope Francis Catholic” whose disagreements with Church teaching are mere trifles. Unlike Obama and Hillary Clinton, who supported the death penalty, Biden opposes it and holds up that opposition as proof of his Catholicism. In truth, it derives from his liberalism and his need to pander to the ACLU left.

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