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.
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
Kim Jong-un 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’
£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...
£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...
VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...