Dear Pope Francis, What Happened to “Who Am I To Judge?”

Deal W. Hudson
June 22, 2015

At a large rally of young people in Turin yesterday, Pope Francis made some remarks that left me shaking my head. Here’s The Guardian‘s report of the Pope’s speech about war and politics:

“If you trust only men you have lost. . . . It makes me think of . . .  people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit of distrust, doesn’t it?”

Pope Francis also said of those who invest in the weapons industry: “duplicity is the currency of today . . . they say one thing and do another.”

Then Pope Francis took a swipe at the Allies — Great Britain, U.S., France, and Russia — during World War II:

“The great powers had the pictures of the railway lines that brought the trains to the concentration camps like Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody. Why didn’t they bomb (the railway lines)?”

Is this the same Pope who inspired many two years ago when he said of homosexuality:

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Pope Francis is willing to judge not only those who produce the weapons that protect free people and nations but also the leadership of the nations who lost millions of men and women to defeat Nazi regime.

Has Pope Francis given any thought to the weapons that are needed to defeat new regime of terror and genocide, ISIS? These Islamic extremists, like Hitler, seeking to conquer the world, beginning with cutting off Christian heads in North Africa and making sex slaves of young women in Nigeria and Yazidi?

Are these murderers, these perpetrators of genocide, going to put down their arms voluntarily?  Will they surrender without weapons being aimed in their direction? Or will they, like Hitler’s Germans and Hirohito’s Japanese, be willing to die regardless of the odds?

The Pope's Swiss Guard.

The Pope’s Swiss Guard.

Frankly, I’m stunned at the Holy Father’s remarks in Turin.  Whether “off the cuff” or not, such blanket condemnation of persons, their intentions, and whole communities is not what Pope Francis himself has been saying or exemplifying.

I’m also perplexed at the historical naiveté: How many times does history have to teach us that force is necessary to protect freedom, justice, human dignity, and innocent life?

Will the Pope next call into question the faith of those who serve in the military around the world?

What about the Pope’s own Swiss Guards who have been serving the Holy See since 1506?  The Swiss Guards are fully armed and prepared to protect the life of the Holy Father.  Does the Pope doubt the Christianity of those who built their weapons or the men who carry them, prepared to use them in defense of life? Prepared to give their lives for him?

What happened to the Holy Father who won hearts around the world with a plea for humility and compassion? Surely Pope Francis is not following in the footsteps of so many on the political left who plead compassion but only for those who embrace their political agenda.


By Deal Hudson

Deal W. Hudson was born November 20, 1949 in Denver, CO, to Emmie and Jack Hudson, both native Texans. Dr. Hudson had an older sister Ruth, and eventually, a younger sister, Elizabeth. Emmie Hudson, Ruth Hudson and Elizabeth Hudson now live in Houston, TX; Jack Hudson passed away some years ago. The late Jack Hudson was a captain for Braniff Airlines in Denver at the time of Dr. Hudson’s birth. Later the family moved to Kansas City when his father joined the Federal Aviation Agency. From Kansas City, the Hudson family moved to Minneapolis, then to Massapequa, NY, and finally to Alexandria, VA, where they first occupied a home overlooking the Potomac River adjacent to the Mount Vernon estate. After a year, the family moved to a home on Tarpon Lane a few houses up the street from the Yacht Haven boat docks. Dr. Hudson attended Mt. Vernon Elementary School from grades 4 to 6 and has a special gratitude for the teaching of Mr. Hoppe who first told him was a ‘smart lad.’ Having moved with his family to Fort Worth, TX in 1960, Dr. Hudson attended William Monnig Junior High and Arlington Heights HS. In high school, Dr. Hudson was captain of the golf team, editor of the literary magazine (Guerdon), and performed the role of Peter in the ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ during his senior year. Dr. Hudson graduated cum laude with a major in philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin in 1971 where his undergraduate advisor was Prof. John Silber. His teachers at the University of Texas included Prof. Louis Mackey and Prof. Larry Caroline. Dr. Hudson minored in both classics and English literature. Dr. Hudson lived in Atlanta from 1974-1989, where he attended Emory University, receiving a Phd from the Graduate Institute for the LIberal Arts. He also taught philosophy at Mercer University in Atlanta from 1980-89. In 1989 Dr. Hudson and his family left Atlanta when he was hired to teach philosophy at Fordham University in the Bronx. Dr. Hudson taught at Fordham, and also part-time at New York University, from 1989 to 1994. Dr. Hudson first came to Atlanta in after graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) with an M.Div. While at PTS, Dr. Hudson managed the Baptist Student Union at Princeton University and became its first director. Dr. Hudson also was licensed at a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention at Madison Baptist Church in Madison, NJ. Dr. Hudson’s primary area of study at PTS was the history of Christian doctrine which he pursued with Dr. Karlfried Froelich. In 1984 Dr. Hudson was received in the Catholic Church by Msgr. Richard Lopez, with the special permission of Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan, at the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home in Atlanta. Dr. Hudson has been married twenty-five years to Theresa Carver Hudson and they have two children, Hannah Clare, 23, and Cyprian Joseph (Chip), 15, adopted from Romania when he was three years old. The Hudson family has lived in Fairfax, VA for more than fifteen years, after having lived five years in Bronxville, NY and a year in Atlanta, GA, where Theresa and Deal were married.

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