HAVING achieved the noteworthy feat on Tuesday of becoming the first Roman pontiff in history to slap a Chinese lady, Pope Francis made violence against women the theme of his New Year’s Day Mass homily on Wednesday. It’s not hard to imagine the PR workshopping that went on behind the scenes to produce the topic. Had he slapped an amputee, the sermon would have essayed the sin of mistreating the limbless. Popes are not supposed to slap women – even importunate oddballs who yank at their arms. A more charitable explanation would be that Francis was making deliberately obvious amends as a preacher for the previous day’s peccadillo. Either way, this pope’s behaviour and utterances are very often strange, nasty, angry, ill-considered and third-rate. He can also be physically aggressive with vulnerable people (as we’ve seen before). What he said to the St Peter’s congregation about women was theologically unobjectionable (albeit laid on a little thick) but when he worked the illegal immigrant angle, out came the nastiness and irrationality:
“Today even motherhood is humiliated, because the only growth that interests us is economic growth,” he said.
“There are mothers, who risk perilous journeys to desperately try to give [their children] a better future and are judged to be redundant by people whose bellies are full of things, but whose hearts are empty of love.”
First, the obvious: for children to have a better future, their mothers are fleeing to countries with economic growth from hellholes with no economic growth. Ergo: economic growth is imperative for establishing and sustaining human dignity. This the pope accidentally admits. Second: most of the so-called refugees fleeing to Europe are not mothers or women. According to the UNHCR, 75 percent of arrivals in Italy are men. For Spain, the figure is 76 percent. If anyone is humiliating and judging women as redundant, it is their own brothers, male cousins and husbands – not Europeans with “bellies full of things.” Third, it is a disgraceful calumny to say that European natives are “empty of love” and only interested in economic growth. They are principally interested in the growth of their children. That means they want to protect the patrimony and the culture of their communities. Those goods – including the rule of law – are being massively assailed by the uncontrolled immigration of men hostile to them. The worst index of that hostility is the rate of sexual assault of European women by ‘refugee’ men in Sweden, Germany and elsewhere.
Lashing out at Europeans won’t do as penance for such unedifying meanness of spirit.