With even many evangelical leaders seemingly drawn to the magnetic star power of the visiting Pope Francis, if I had just a few minutes with him, I'd ask him five questions.
1. Sir, if you are interested in helping the poor, as seen in the fact that you take the bus to work, then why not do something more than symbolic and melt down some of that gold in St. Peters? That way you can feed tens of thousands for several years.
2. You are an outspoken critic of capitalism. Let’s see now. Italy’s labor-market rules have remained largely unchanged since the modern Italian state was established. When last year Prime Minister Matteo Renzi attempted modest efforts to reform Italy’s notoriously matrixed labor laws, Italy’s largest union, the Italian General Confederation of Labor, led many thousands of people in a revolt. They insist on guaranteed jobs for all. Indeed, sir, under the (income-assistance scheme), businesses that need to downsize can put some workers on standby, and the government will cover a significant share of the normal salary until the company can hire back the worker. I’m wondering how Italy’s “soft socialism” is going for you guys, seeing that the income-assistance scheme strains the state’s budget, discourages workers from seeking other jobs, and curtails struggling companies from downsizing to stay competitive.
3. On homosexuality, you said "Who am I to judge?" Yet when it comes to Protestant thought you said in a 1985 lecture (translated into Italian in 2014) that Luther is a "heretic" and Calvin is a "heretic and schismatic." According to that lecture, you went to say that Protestantism lies at the root of all evils in the church and in man's heart. So why are you able to "judge" two men who believe the Bible to be true, but not two men who lie with one another, an act that God calls an "abomination?"
4. My wife has a relative by the name of Rowland Taylor. His short biography is in The Foxes Book of Martyrs. He was burned at the stake for not following the command of Bloody Mary to switch from the biblical administration of the Table to the Mass. Now in Washington D.C., a Pentecostal evangelist gave you “high-five.” I wonder if you’d like to swing by and give my wife a “high-five” as a humble gesture on your behalf to say, “Sorry for killing your relative over so small a matter.”
5. Here’s my final question. You had a few days with the American people and you spoke numerous times. But the one thing I never heard you proclaim. The simple gospel. You had the greatest opportunity to do so, yet you turned it down. So many hearts could have been transformed. Why, why, why, did you not preach the gospel?