The nation’s Capital is being saturated this week with a quote supposedly from Pope Francis that “God will Judge you on how you cared for Earth.” The message is on heavy talk radio rotation and in full-page ads in the Washington Post and the Wall Street journal, all paid for by an outfit called the Knights of St. Francis.
The Knights of St. Francis appear to the vanity creation of a rich San Francisco Democrat named Angela Alioto, daughter of former San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto and a political powerhouse in her own right.
Alioto has served in various public policy roles including as Chairman of the permanently-wacky San Francisco Board of supervisors, the same board that made San Francisco a sanctuary city leading to multiple murders in 2008 and one more just a few weeks ago, the same board that banned military recruitment at San Francisco schools, and much else.
The center piece of Alioto’s ad is the quote from Francis about God judging us by how we cared “for Earth.” But did the Pope really say that or could it be the product of an over-exited headline writer at the Associated Press?
An AP story headlined “God will judge you on whether you cared for Earth” certainly rocketed around the globe last May after Francis gave a homily to the Catholic relief group Caritas in Rome. But, the story does not contain that quote. In fact, Francis said that at God’s judgment, “…it will be revealed if [the powerful of the Earth] really tried to provide for Him in every person, and if they did what they could to preserve the environment so that it could produce this food.” Not even a close approximation of the headline in the story and in Alito’s ads.
It is at least remotely possible that Alioto got this quote from one of the impromptu back of the plane interviews that Francis is fond of giving. But either way such a quote hardly binds the consciences of Catholics as Alioto implies in her ads.
And what of Alioto’s own faith? Since she is holding D.C. Catholics to account for a single Francis quote of questionable provenance, does she adhere to actual and fundamental teachings of the Church?
Alioto has certainly never taken out ads in Washington D.C. or elsewhere holding pro-abortion politicians to account for Church teaching on that issue, or on the issue of marriage either. In fact one can see in the public record that she has publicly opposed such teachings.
She authored a resolution calling upon the State legislature to fund testing of the abortion drug RU486. She voted for a resolution condemning a pro-life group that wanted to rally on the steps of City Hall. The resolution said it was ““an act of provocation when a right-wing Christian fundamentalist group brings their anti-gay and anti-choice agenda of intolerance to the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall.”
Alioto voted for a resolution opposing legislative efforts to limit marriage to a man and a woman. She also voted for a resolution opposing the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.
So, how is it that a dissident Catholic from lefty San Francisco politics lectures D.C. Catholics using a questionable quote from Pope Francis? It’s that lefty Catholics have waited decades for a Pope who would give them a stick to beat conservatives with and they are taking every opportunity to use it, even if they have to invent the stick.
Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse