On the very day that the U.S. illegally invaded Iraq, I stated many places that it was going to be a mess. I pointed to the absolute assurance that there would be civil unrest between the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. And sure enough, that is exactly what happened. Iraq is now a divided mess. There are checkpoints everywhere. People are constantly checked as they move about. And bombings continue all over Iraq today.
When George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and their "advisers" like Wolfowitz and Pearle and Rumsfeld decided to concoct a series of lies to "permit" them to illegally invade Iraq, many Americans believed them and were patriotically ready to serve. Many who served in Iraq came back bitter and disillusioned. Some were wounded physically and mentally. Some tried to re-gain their life and move on. Some vets struggled against the weight of their mental and physical ailments for years. Some committed suicide. Some lived with thier agony and regret and anger.
In case Pope Francis is not effective in witnessing in the U.S. for the poor, perhaps something can be done to wake up Americans to their insensitivity to millions of underserved people in their midst. We have been led to believe that we have no obgligation to help them, and that they are poor because they do not want to work. We have drunk the greedy Kool-Aid and believe what we have been told by our "leaders' from both political parties. We have been in denial far too long. The poor and underserved in the U.S. need a voice.
As people around the world acknowledge and even celebrate the humble nature of the new Pope, we have to wonder if there is hope that he could bring his immense power and influence to bear on the greed that has infested the United States of America.
I grew up in a Roman Catholic setting, and all my friends were of that faith. I went to CYO dances, church picnics, raffles, fish fries, etc. Later in life I received a Master's degree from a Jesuit university. Still later in life I was the Vice President of a Catholic college. I have known bishops and archbishops. I have sat in on theological and ecumenical meetings and discussions with Catholics and Episcopalians. My entire life has been filled with a variety of events and experiences with the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore I make no apologies for the following comments.