Conservative commentator Dick Morris wrote that “New Pope is Game Changer for Latin America”. Bascially, his contention is that Hugo Chavez was able to wield power through a generous flow of money to various groups, both internally and throughout the region. However, and I wasn’t aware of this, the oil production in Venezuela was actually decreasing. Therefore, the economic pressure built up over time will likely cause his successors to turn more inwardly towards their own problems.
Meanwhile, according to Morris, the new pope presents a very different picture of leadership. He had a small apartment and travelled by bus daily to the church in Buenos Aires. “He is truly a man of the people,” writes Morris.
More importantly, though, Morris writes:
… He will bring a new kind of Gospel focused Catholicism to Rome and will concern himself with alleviating poverty just as John Paul II focused on fighting communism.
The very fact of a Latin Pope is likely to stir a revival of Catholicism in Latin America where Evangelical Protestants have lately made huge incursions. He has the potential to replace the fraudulent Chavez as the voice of the poor in that neglected region where a plurality of the world’s Catholics live.
However, if the new pope does stir up a revival, and if he truly is capable of uniting the diverse groups in the region, what does that mean for the rest of the West?
The Telegraph reports that as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergogio, “Pope Francis branded Britain ‘usurpers’ over Falklands conflict”. No, this was not a comment made 30 years ago. He made this comment during a mass last year, marking the 30th anniversary of the event.
Morris may or may not be on the money about uniting Latin Americans under the Catholic banner. He may be more or less correct about whether or not the new pope is the perfect picture of what we commonly refer to as servant leadership. However, I believe his optimism is misguided and shaped by his more conservative view of the world. I would argue that Francis and Chavez have one thing in common: They are more likely to divide Latin America from Britain and the United States than cooperate with them. Right or wrong, that is the very real probability of all of this.
As Britain and the United States more and more find themselves sitting on the sidelines of world affairs, their vast influence and power slowly being ripped away like a band aid off a large cut, it won’t be as painful as the slow infection of an economy of overspending, “printing” up digital money and borrowing money from foreign sources eat away at the vital organs of the nations until those vital organs ultimately fail.
What superpower will then fill the void? The answer is in your Bible. What can you or I do about it? The answer is in your Bible. Will Planet Earth survive those times? The answer is in your Bible.