Christians everywhere  are being persecuted.  Some are beheaded.  Some are murdered by drowning.  Some are being driven out of their homes and becoming refugees in foreign lands.  And, some are slowly being killed by repressive policies, even here in America.

The persecutions are a human tragedy. Lives lost.  Lives destroyed.  Futures and dreams never to be realized.

Amid all this chaos, the Catholic Church is a beacon of hope through its outreach to the poor, oppressed, and hopeless.

As Catholics, we accept the responsibility to try to make the world a better place.  Although we can never create a perfect world, we try.  Our goal is to live according to Jesus’ command:  do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

As the Shepherd of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis’ responsibility is to help us be better Christians, better Catholics, and  better human beings.  To that end, he reminds us of our personal goals and how to avoid the sins we might not be able to resist.  Because we are all human and sin, his mission is monumental.  It should be all encompassing.

Unfortunately, Pope Francis  must not find it satisfying enough because he has now  stepped outside of his priestly role and entered the political arena when he states that denying Climate Change is a sin.  And, to unilaterally recognize Palestine as a state or to say that Abbas is “an angel of peace” is to establish a rift between the Church and Israel, America’s strongest ally.

In effect, the Pope has taken sides in a political matter and is leading our Church into more confrontation.  Rather than leading us into a holier state, he is becoming a politician  and making us pawns in his personal philosophy of the world.

That is not only sad, it is the wrong role for a Pope.

Instead of playing politics, Pope Francis should concentrate on leading “all souls to heaven”.