Tags: francis | gop | poor | challenges

Pope Francis Challenges GOP on Women, Poor

Image: Pope Francis Challenges GOP on Women, Poor

Tuesday, 11 Mar 2014 01:30 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Pope Francis has taken a number of new positions that would empower women and the poor at a time when conservative politicians appear to be going in a different direction, Paul Farrell of MarketWatch, writes.

In the MarketWatch column, part of The Wall Street Journal, Farrell outlines a number of areas in which the pope looks set to go toe-to-toe with American political conservatives on both economic issues and gender roles.

"The new pope is changing the rules of the game, not just for this 1.2 billion faithful in the Catholic church but across politics worldwide," Farrell wrote. "And it will have a ripple effect on American and global economics. Because he is a radical reformer, clearly hell-bend on charging ahead. New rules. New resentments for conservatives."

Calling the pope "a conservative's worst nightmare," Farrell lists the pontiff's opposition to capitalism as the top concern.

"He's anti-inequality, wants more government policies favoring the poor, at a time when GOP budget czar Paul Ryan just keeps attacking the poor. The pontiff is against capitalism's failed trickle-down theories," he wrote.

"Small wonder that conservatives like Paul Ryan, Bill O'Reilly, Chris Christie, and Rush Limbaugh hate what he stands for… because Pope Francis is driving a stake directly into the heart of the GOP's capitalist theology."

He added, "That puts Francis and his 'officer corps' of 200 cardinals, 5,000 bishops, 450,000 priests, and 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide—78 million of them Americans—on a direct collision course with the GOP's ultraconservative anti-poor budgets."

Farrell said another area of conflict in over women. He argues that American conservative politicians appear to be rolling back female healthcare and reproductive rights, at a time when the pope is "giving women new power."

Specifically, the Vatican could soon consider significant changes to the role of women in the church and the Catholic's approach to divorcees Pope Francis has said.

"Hillary may have just gotten a strong implied endorsement from the most powerful and radical leader in the world," Farrell concluded.

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