In a recent broadside against the teachings of what Damon Linker correctly notes today as the world’s “politically inconvenient pontiff,” George F. Will–with unsurprising dogmatism, unfortunately–lays bare the liberal roots of his contempt:
As the world spurns his church’s teachings about abortion, contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage and other matters, Francis jauntily makes his church congruent with the secular religion of “sustainability.” Because this is hostile to growth, it fits Francis’s seeming sympathy for medieval stasis, when his church ruled the roost, economic growth was essentially nonexistent and life expectancy was around 30….[Pope Francis] stands against modernity, rationality, science and, ultimately, the spontaneous creativity of open societies in which people and their desires are not problems but precious resources. Americans cannot simultaneously honor him and celebrate their nation’s premises.
So, Pope Francis is suspicious of unrestrained growth, envinces some sympathy for the sustainability of more medieval social and economic relationships, is not a huge booster of modernity and rationality and science, worries about and is open to putting limits upon the external harms that people’s choices may have on the social and environmental fabric of the world, and, for all those reasons, is a bad American. Sounds like he might actually be…well, conservative. Imagine that. Good to know that secular liberals–like today’s George F. Will–are here to sound the alarm.