But now as the date of the pope’s historic speech approaches more and more members of the party are bracing for what some are predicting could be a very bumpy ride on Sept. 24.
In the past year Francis has emerged as a proto-socialist who leaves no doubt about where he stands on the current economic system. He has criticized capitalism as the ‘dung of the devil’ and the foundation of a fundamentally unjust world order that leaves the poor and marginalized struggling to obtain ‘so elementary and undeniably necessary a right as that of the three ‘Ls’: land, lodging and labor’.
Francis has also called for a complete restructuring of the economic order. ‘Let us not be afraid to say it: we want change, real change, structural change’ Francis said during his July trip to Bolivia. ‘This system is by now intolerable: farm workers find it intolerable – laborers find it intolerable – communities find it intolerable – peoples find it intolerable’.
Not only has he blown a hole in longtime Republican efforts to suggest that free-market capitalism is the answer to helping the poor both in the U.S. and in the developing world; Francis has also linked this immoral capitalist system to the unsustainable exploitation of the planet.
In his climate change encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ he not only calls out climate deniers for failing to heed the ‘very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system’ – but explicitly denounces the belief of many on the Christian right that God had given man ‘dominion’ over the earth to exploit its resources as they see fit.