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Why the GOP is dreading Pope Francis’ visit

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, September 9, 2015. REUTERS/Max Rossi - RTS911
Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican, September 9, 2015. REUTERS/Max Rossi – RTS911

Republicans think his views of free-market capitalism are too conservative.

During Pope Francis’ visit to the United States next week, he will insist that the church transcends partisan politics, and I’m sure he means this sincerely. But that won’t prevent his visit from having political ramifications.

For several decades, the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. has drawn closer and closer to the Republican Party, mostly because of their shared opposition to abortion. Catholics have always bristled at the charge that their religion was subsumed by this one issue, and Pope Francis is committed to reminding the world that the church cares about more than just sex and reproduction.

He isn’t about to revise the church’s basic teachings on these matters, but he fervently wants to change the topic of conversation. This presents a major problem for the GOP, because on nearly every other public issue it is starkly at odds with Catholic teachings. And not because Pope Francis is too liberal. Rather, it’s because he’s too conservative on an issue that serves as a cornerstone of the Republican Party: free-market capitalism.

Read more at Fortune.com…

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