Explaining Francis’ preference of “facts” over “ideas”

Thomas Reese SJ in NC Reporter, early in Francis’ incumbency:

Francis . . . lived in Argentina at a time when there was a clash of ideologies going on, and he grew to hate ideological thinking.

I define an ideology as a system by which we ignore data and experience in order to preserve our opinions.

Peronism, communism, and libertarian capitalism were fighting for power. The military, following the idea of the national security state, violently suppressed all opposition.

Makes sense, but Ivereigh’s Great Reformer has the young Bergoglio possessing an “affinity” for Peronism. Also has him imbibing anti-ideologue-ism from his knowledge of Jesuit expulsions from Argentina by the Bourbon king of Spain in the 18th century.

Which is merely additional to Reese’s explanation unless it tells us more about Francis than what he lived through in a fractured Argentina.  And which I submit tends to make him more comfortable with dictators than with elected heads of democracy.

Cuban, for instance:

. . . when he visited Ecuador and Bolivia, [a few weeks after Reese puffed his anti-ideologue-ism] Pope Francis mingled with presidents Rafael Correa and Evo Morales, avowed disciples of Fidel and Raul Castro with tyrannical tendencies, but he refrained from speaking about their human rights abuses. He also received a blasphemous hammer-and-sickle crucifix from Evo Morales and accepted this gift with a smile. What if that crucifix had been in the shape of a swastika rather than a hammer and sickle?

That incident was a portent of things to come in Cuba, where Pope Francis has smiled his way through meetings with blood-soaked tyrants and failed to speak out about human rights abuses on the island, or to challenge the cruelty of his hosts. Pope Francis also failed to meet with any of Cuba’s non-violent dissidents, despite their urgent pleas for an encounter. This is not so much the “preferential option for the poor” as the preferential option for oppressors.

Returning to Reese’s analysis and Ivereigh’s, keep in mind the latter’s imprecision and inexactitude in smaller matters. He also called the Jesuit expulsion Argentina’s “Boston Tea Party,” did he not, as if it was the Brits who dumped the tea.

If expelling Jesuits from Argentina in 1767 reminds Ivereigh of the Boston Tea Party, we have to wonder.

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