When the Pope tweeted:
it was met with what have become the most predictable of reactions:
liberals (both secular and religious) burst out into enthusiastic applause and retweets, absolutely delighted at the papal vindication of class-warfare (or more properly, class-envy). meanwhile, free-market friendly Catholics defaulted into the now-familiar “circle the wagons” mode, while still other Catholics — papal apologists for “all things Francis” — sought rather to explain the quote away away, insisting that Francis did not mean what the majority of the world inferred.
A sampling of reactions below …
- Pope Francis condemns inequality, thus refusing to play the game, by Andrew Brown. The Guardian 04/28/14 “In explicitly prizing human beings over markets, Francis has confirmed he is a far cry from the Reaganist Pope John Paul II he just canonised.”
- A controversial tweet, by Dr. Robert Moynihan. The Moynihan Letters 04/29/14.
- U.S. conservatives frightened & confused by pope’s moral world, by Grant Gallicho. Commonweal 04/29/14.
- Everyone Is Misreading Pope Francis on Inequality, by Ramesh Ponnuru. Bloomberg.com. 04/29/14.
- Popewatch: Inequality, by Donald R. McClarey. The American Catholic 04/29/14. “Tweets are especially unsuitable for papal pronouncements since they have no room for context, nuance, explanation, citation, etc, all the hallmarks of most papal statements prior to the current papacy.”
- The Pope’s Tweet: Are there good and bad types of inequality?, by Josiah Neeley. The Federalist 04/30/14.
- Conservatives squawk over pope’s tweet on inequality, by David Gibson. National Catholic Reporter. 04/30/14.
- The Egaliterian Pope Francis, by Rod Dreher. The American Conservative
- Why I Appreciate Pope Francis (Even When We Disagree), by Joe Carter. The Acton Institute. 04/30/14.
Any social media device which puts a 140 character cap on whatever you’re expressing seems (to me, at least) a recipe for confusion. And for a Pope whose remark frequently warrant further clarification, I personally wish he would simply stay away from Twitter. And the phone. And off-the-cuff interviews.
Well, one can at least hope.