Pope Francis says he’s not a Marxist – but knows lots of good people who are

Pontiff defends his policies against conservative criticism that he is going ‘beyond Catholicism’

Pope Francis has been forced to defend his economic and social ideologies after prominent conservatives accused him of coming forward with “pure Marxism”.

Speaking to an Italian newspaper today, the pope described Marxism as “wrong”, but refused to condemn people who hold left-wing views.

The comments came after the Pontiff railed against the “new tyranny” of unfettered capitalism in an 84-page document published last month.

The “apostolic exhortation” sets out the terms by which a pope intends to run the Catholic Church – yet it was slammed by the outspoken conservative US talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

Mr Limbaugh, who is not a member of the church, said the comments went “beyond Catholicism” and were “purely political”. He claimed parts of the document were “pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope”, and suggested that someone else must have written the papal document for him.

Today, Pope Francis said: “Marxist ideology is wrong. But in my life I have known many Marxists who are good people, so I don't feel offended.”

In his response to the critics, the pope said he was not speaking “as a technician but according to the social doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, and this does not mean being Marxist”. He said he was just trying to present a “snapshot of what is happening” in the world today.

In another document last week, he said huge salaries and bonuses were symptoms of an economy based on greed and called again for nations to narrow the wealth gap.

Speaking to La Stampa, Pope Francis covered a range of topics. He said another rumour about his leadership – that he would be appointing women as cardinals next year – was unfounded.

“I don't know where that idea comes from. Women in the Church should be valued, not 'clericalised',” he said.

He also said that the “lengthy task” to reform the Vatican’s murky finances was “on the right path”, with a committee due to report in February.

And in a look forward to an anniversary visit to the Holy Land, Pope Francis said he had been invited by both Israel and the Palestinian territories for a trip expected in either May or June.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world