POPE FRANCIS: I'm Not A Marxist


pope francis child

REUTERS/ Stefano Rellandini

Pope Francis, announced as TIME's Person of the Year, hugs a child as he arrives to lead the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square this summer.

Pope Francis has responded to critics of his views who have called him a "Marxist" in a new interview with an Italian newspaper, saying Marxist ideology "is wrong" while simultaneously noting that much of what he wrote in his powerful critique of capitalism is part of the fabric of the Catholic church.


"Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don't feel offended," Francis told La Stampa. "There is nothing in the Exhortation that cannot be found in the social Doctrine of the Church."

Francis' answer was in response to accusations from U.S. critics on the right, including Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. "This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope," Limbaugh said on his radio show in November.

In his first written text of his papacy, called the Apostolic Exhortation, the pope addressed many issues, but his denouncement of our current financial system got most of the attention.

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Francis - the first pope ever to hail from Latin America, where he worked on behalf of the poor in his native Argentina - warned in "Evangelii" that the "idolatry of money" would lead to a "new tyranny."

The Pope also blasted "trickle-down economics," saying the theory "expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power."

"While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few," he wrote.