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Letter: Cherry-picking pope's teachings

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (Nov. 27, 2013) Credit: AP

I suspect most thoughtful Newsday readers are no longer surprised by the shameless hypocrisy of liberal elites. The Dec. 1 column by Eugene Robinson, however, is worthy of special recognition ["Pope delivering pointed message," Opinion].

Robinson sounds a lot like nominal cafeteria Catholics who quote the pope only when it comports with their own personal views on social policy. He cherry-picks the words of Pope Francis to launch a transparent political attack on elected officials -- meaning Republicans -- "who claim to follow Jesus' teachings" but are opposed to Obamacare.

The Catholic Church's principle of the "preferential option for the poor" challenges the faithful to assist those among us who are less fortunate. This has been an element of Catholic social teaching for some time, but it does not mandate government coercion to mitigate income inequality in the name of God.

In fact, Jesus showed his apostles that Christians are called to minister to both the spiritual and physical needs of our brothers and sisters. He did not lobby the government of the Roman occupiers for more food stamps.

The gospel account of the multiplication of loaves demonstrates what can be accomplished with voluntary acts of selflessness and a fervent belief in a loving God.

Monica Koch Walsh, West Hempstead