Molly Ball addresses the current debate about whether Pope Francis is liberal.
“What makes Francis different is really a matter of which Catholic beliefs he has elevated to the level of communal concerns—public policy—and which he has framed as individual choices. To Francis, sharing wealth and fixing global warming are matters that governments should address, while not committing homosexual acts or having abortions are individual choices he endorses. (As he famously put it: ‘Who am I to judge?’) This is quite different from the American Catholic church, which has poured its political energy into laws banning gay marriage and restricting abortion.”
“Francis is not an American politician, but his perspective on the state’s role in these issues lines up pretty well with that of most American Democrats.”
“Francis aligns more with Democrats than Republicans on other issues: He favors immigration reform, played a major role in the Obama administration’s détente with Cuba, and supports the Iran nuclear deal. No wonder the president and other American liberals are trying to claim him—and conservatives see him as a threat.”