When the pope calls on Cuba to build an “open society,” he inadvertently calls George Soros to mind.
Soros, of course, is the founder of the nonprofit conglomerate called the Open Society Foundations.
The Open Society brand name - and it is a brand name - has been closely associated with the billionaire financier for years. Soros has even trademarked the phrases “Open Society Foundations,” “Open Society Policy Center,” “Open Society Institute” and “Alliance for Open Society International.”
But when it comes to plain “open society,” the pontiff needn’t worry about lawsuits.
Soros doesn’t own the phrase and can’t claim it.
“The Open Society and its Enemies” was written during World War II by Karl Popper, the Austrian philosopher whom Soros later chose as his mentor.
Soros not only named the Open Society Institute (and later the Open Society Foundations) for Popper’s work, but created a scholarship program in Popper’s name.
We suspect that Soros would approve of the pope’s speech. In fact, his progressive philanthropies have contributed to a few Catholic organizations, including Catholic Relief Services.
Given his self-proclaimed atheism and his support for causes such as gay and transgender rights, his occasional funding of Catholic groups doesn’t sit well with everyone in the church.
But we doubt that Benedict XVI is deliberately trying to dilute the Soros brand.