The hype surrounding the recent visit of Pope Francis to the United States has been unrelenting, especially when compared to the excitement that previous popes were able to generate on their travels.
For many decades, the catholic church has been struggling with a tarnished image, due to their draconian policies, outdated rules and the widening child molestation scandals involving large numbers of catholic priests. The Vatican lost even more credibility after the selection of the previous pope, who looked like a vampire and was literally a card holding member of Hitler’s youth organization when he was young.
These and many other factors have led to a rapid decline in membership for the catholic church in recent years. So when it was time to pick a new pope, a more media-friendly pope was considered, one that would help the church to sway the newer and younger generation back into their favor. Of course, nothing has really changed about the catholic church or the Vatican over the past few years, aside from the fact that they have been using more cheery and populous driven rhetoric to promote their organization.
During his highly publicized speech to congress this week, the pope continued to support their policies while paying lip service to helping the poor and stopping the violence in the world. However, the Vatican is one of the richest organization on the face of the earth, and could surely eradicate poverty if they actually chose to. Instead, the pope is spending his time giving praise to the politicians who are causing the problems, while taking photo opportunities with a few homeless people.
It is important to remember that the public figures who run the world’s ancient political and religious institutions are put there to uphold and justify the violence that these institutions have been perpetuating for centuries. Although they may speak to the people in a way that people understand and identify with, they are not actually bringing any question to the systematic issues that are responsible for the world’s violence and poverty.
It is a good sign that the general population is now gravitating towards more peaceful rhetoric from political leaders, but for us to truly be free we need to stop fooling ourselves into believing that someone is going to come along and free us by using the systems that have enslaved us to begin with.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.
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