Off on the Right Foot

The Trump presidency has started off on a most heartening note, with the new commander-in-chief signing back into effect the ‘Mexico City’ policy, removing all American funding of overseas abortions. This policy, first put into effect by Ronald Reagan, was rescinded by, yes, Bill Clinton, then put back by George  W. Bush, then rescinded again by Barack Obama, now…Well, the whole sorry business has been Trumped, and the day after the 44th anniversary of the infamous Roe vs. Wade decision.

If this is the sign of things to come, then let them arrive sooner than later.

The Holy Father offered yet-another interview, unadorned and unedited, to an Italian newspaper, where he offered a note of caution about Trump.

We’ll see what happens. To be frightened or to rejoice now would be a great imprudence; it would be to be prophets of calamity or well-being which might not be verified. We’ll see what he’ll do, and we’ll assess it.

Later in the same interview, Pope Francis warns against ‘populism’ and the rise of a new Hitler.  Hmm.  One is forced to wonder.  From the Zenit article:

For me, a typical example of populism, in the European sense, is the Germany of ‘33,” he said. A “destroyed Germany sought to raise itself, sought its identity, sought a leader that would restore it to her, there was a young man called Hitler who said: ‘I can.’ And the whole of Germany voted for Hitler. A people in crisis, in search of identity, found itself before this charismatic leader who promised to give them an identity and gave them a ‘distorted identity.’ “This is the danger. In times of crisis, discernment doesn‘t function,” stressed the Pope. “We seek a savior that will restore our identity and we defend ourselves with walls, barbed wire, anything, from other people who can deprive us of such identity. All this is very grave, therefore, I always repeat: dialogue between you

With whom is the Holy Father trying to make an analogy? Trump and Hitler? Or is the ‘I can’ a vague allusion to Obama, with the ‘we can’? Or is it a warning on a more general note, with the possibilities of ever-new anti-Christs, and the eventual end-of-days Anti-Christ? Alas, one is left to wonder. There is a big chasm between an ‘identity’, which is the birth right of every nation, and a ‘distorted identity’, but they both can be gauged in reference to the truth, and the Truth.

And given the behaviour of Obama, the great proponent of untrammelled abortion, and Trump, who just signed in the new law described above, I, and I think most Catholics and all people of good-will, would choose the latter.

But, as the Pope says, time and events will tell how things play out.  So far, so good.