“Let us not be afraid to say it: we want change, real change, structural change,” the pope said, decrying a system that “has imposed the mentality of profit at any price, with no concern for social exclusion or the destruction of nature.“
“This system is by now intolerable: farm workers find it intolerable, laborers find it intolerable, communities find it intolerable, peoples find it intolerable The Earth itself – our sister, Mother Earth, as Saint Francis would say – also finds it intolerable,” he said in an hour-long speech that was interrupted by applause and cheering dozens of times.
His remarks make me think of this talk from the Lima climate change confrence. I get the sense he has a feeling of urgency; he sees the need for leadership beyond the status quo. Having been raised Catholic, although long since left the church, for the first time I feel like I can ideologically support the church, on this topic at least. I still don't know exactly what he can do in a concrete sense, and it's hard to find a more ossified institution than the Catholic Church.
I'm not sure what to make of the crucifix, though. The whole story feels weird in that regard. The pontiff was handed the symbol of our mortal ideological enemies (speaking from generic American propagandistic POV), and he wasn't sure what to make of it either, the article wasn't even clear one way or the other. It just seems like a strange way to frame his trip.
But Rev James Bretzke, a theologian at Boston College in Massachusetts, accused Morales of attempting to manipulate the pope.
Sure, everything is about symbols and how they manipulate our understanding; it's not just Morales that would be happy to manipulate, co-opt, or otherwise subvert a message of change.