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December 14th, 2013
08:30 PM ET

Pope: Marxist ideology is 'wrong'

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– Pope Francis responded to critics who call his stance on capitalism Marxist, saying in a new interview that the political and economic philosophy is flat "wrong."

"Marxist ideology is wrong," the Pope told the Italian newspaper La Stampa in an interview published on Saturday. "But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended.”

Earlier this month, the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh blasted the pontiff, calling his latest major writing, an apostolic exhortation called Evangelii Gaudium, "pure Marxism."

"It's sad because this Pope makes it very clear he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism and so forth," Limbaugh said.

READ MORE: Rush Limbaugh: Pope is preaching 'pure Marxism'

Pope Francis told La Stampa that, “there is nothing in the Exhortation that cannot be found in the social Doctrine of the Church.” The 50,000-word statement calls for church reform and castigates elements of modern capitalism.

"I wasn’t speaking from a technical point of view, what I was trying to do was to give a picture of what is going on," the Pope said of Evangelii Gaudium.

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."

"The only specific quote I used was the one regarding the 'trickle-down theories,' which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and social inclusiveness in the world," the Pope said in the new interview on Saturday.

"The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger nothing ever comes out for the poor. This was the only reference to a specific theory. I was not, I repeat, speaking from a technical point of view but according to the Church’s social doctrine. This does not mean being a Marxist.”

The Pope's critique of capitalism thrilled many liberal Catholics, who have long called on church leaders to spend more time and energy on protecting the poor from economic inequalities.

READ MORE: Pope Francis: No more business as usual

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (1,371 Responses)
  1. Tauty

    Sounds like a National Socialist to me.

    December 15, 2013 at 8:04 am |
  2. BuckRogere

    I been married to one woman longer than Limpblah has been married to four. But since my wife and I are Progressives, he says we're out to destroy the 'Murikin Family.

    December 15, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Paul P

      Rush hates everything and everyone.....the world would be better off with him off the air.

      December 15, 2013 at 8:13 am |
  3. blakenaustin

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. Sadly the pope appears to be just another far lefter, unwilling to be honest about what they really believe.

    December 15, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Jim

      I like ducks.

      December 15, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • Michael B

      Perhaps it is "you" who lacks honesty.

      December 15, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • William Jackson

      If the teachings of Christ sound a little far left to you, perhaps the rightists have slid so far right that they are unknowingly following Satan.

      December 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  4. BuckRogere

    The year I was in Vietnam was the year Limpblah dodged. He had a boo-boo on his booty. No kiddin, a big sore on his big butt. A boo-boo on his booty. But he's a flag wavin 'Murikin alrighty.

    December 15, 2013 at 8:00 am |
  5. steve David

    The extensive demagoguery and opportunism that we witness today should not blind us from the singular flower in the field of weeds. The Pope's bully pulpit is on sound theological ground. If Christ was alive today and personified his teachings, he would immediately be condemned by the Right as a Communist or Marxist. To suggest that there is an unhealthy divide in wealth between the 1% and the rest of us is better left unsaid, at least here where the mere mention of socialism is enough set off the Right's noise machine...

    December 15, 2013 at 8:00 am |
  6. BuckRogere

    Limpblah is like a sewer – everything that stinks ends up in him.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  7. MaryM

    So now the GOP leader, Rush has managed to alienate the Catholics vote. Good job Rush

    December 15, 2013 at 7:51 am |
  8. Dan

    If Rush ever got around to reading the new testament he'd call it a communist manifesto. What is really offensive is the ignorant Christians that listen to Rush spouting vial hatred, the opposite actions of the person they worship.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • madrogio

      If hypocrisy could fly, there would be no sunlight.

      December 15, 2013 at 7:59 am |
  9. hubert39

    So, what if he is? Marxist loves people. Capitalist loved money.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:47 am |
  10. Peter Q Wolfe

    Why don't we agree the world is over populated? We need to sterilize the poor. Manage end-of life care via euthanasia like I did for my mom on life support in 05. Time for the middle class to feel what the poor feel everyday cause the poor subsidize them like the middle class subsidize the rich!

    December 15, 2013 at 7:46 am |
    • John

      Thanks for volunteering! But this post of yours is very unlike your earlier posts. Did you find religion this morning?

      December 15, 2013 at 7:55 am |
    • madrogio

      Unt ve have vays of making them comply. Sieg Heil!!

      December 15, 2013 at 7:55 am |
    • Alfred Hussein Neuman

      The poor in American subsidize the middle class? How is that? I think most of the middle class believe the poor are a drain, since they produce very little that is of value.

      December 15, 2013 at 7:59 am |
  11. Reggie from LA

    "trickle-down economics," saying the theory "expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power."
    ______
    What more can be said? Ok. Be angry. Go on. Say it!! "The Pope oversimplifies the tenets of capitalism. He's a Marxist socialist." Ummmm, no. He's absolutely on the mark and beyond, in one sentence. Most aptly expressed for what is the truth. Capitalism is not inherently evil, but has taken on fangs. You know. Kinda like a vampire or somethin';more and more following the Reagan and 2 Bush presidencies. More particularly Bush II, because GW Bush had Cheney at his right and in his ear. Let's not be naive to think otherwise. Welcome, Pope Francis. I hope you will usher an era of needed change. Chase those money changers from the temple!! Ooops, but that would offend the anointed "King" Ted Cruz now wouldn't it.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:44 am |
    • John

      Marxism fails because it provides no incentive to work, in fact a DIS-incentive. Since you get the same no matter how hard you work, you do better by slacking off and saving your energy. Only Capitalism can actually GENERATE wealth.

      But what to do with it? Just consume for the sake of consumption? This is the weakness of Capitalism, that it appears wholly self-centered. And while I have no problem with Ayn Rand's 'virtue of selfishness,' most of the people who embrace her just fail to see that our own self-interests are inextricably tied into the lives of all those around us.

      So I agree with the Pope. And that fat moron on the radio, with all his own worshippers, pffft to them!

      December 15, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • AMB

      Don't forget that it is TRICKLE down economics. This means that the wealthy get everything and a TRICKLE (defined as "to flow of fall in DROPS") is shared by the other 98%

      December 15, 2013 at 8:10 am |
  12. madrogio

    I'm impressed and even a little hopeful now. I'm an agnostic, so I will use simply "Your Honor."
    Your Honor,
    Thank you for reminding the faithful and the skeptical of the message of Jesus. It is about sharing and caring, not profit over people, gain and loss. Only when we all gain is there no loss. If He exists, may he bless you and condemn your critics. And at this particular season, may the greedy be laid low and the humble exalted. Peace!

    December 15, 2013 at 7:42 am |
  13. Ed

    Note to Pope: Perhaps you are not familiar with Mr. Limbaugh. He is nothing more than "entertainer" who makes enormous piles of money by drawing attention to himself. He has no qualms about spouting lies and absurdities in order to do so. And his dittohead followers love it because it is what they want to hear...irregardless of truth.
    Basically, he makes it possible for them to feel good about being stupid. So I wouldn't even bother to acknowledge what he spews, because he already knows that what he says is crap. And it just gives him more of what he wants.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:40 am |
    • madrogio

      Ed,
      I used to think Rush knew he was full of crap, too, because he is just a cynical exploiter of the stupid and gullible. Lately I've had doubts, though. Listen to your own lies long enough; can you then recognize truth? In any case, this personality (vs. person) gives a new meaning to the phrase, "The Bum's Rush."

      December 15, 2013 at 7:48 am |
  14. Roland

    This Rush Limbaugh is a modern day Joseph Goebbels he doesn't even know what Marxism means just that the pope said that you shouldn't let the poor suffer.It is the original message of the gospels , the preferential treatment of the poor.It is what made the Roman Empire decide Christians should be thrown before the lions before they give poor people ideas like organization and self reliance and resistance.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • madrogio

      Dr. Goebbels was an educated man–I think you give Rush too much credit....

      December 15, 2013 at 8:06 am |
  15. Realist

    --------------
    ...................................................

    Christianity is built upon a LIE ...

    ................ because ....................

    ..... http://www.GodIsImaginary.com ...

    ... and thank goodness because he ...

    ............. emanates from the .............

    ...................... http://www.EvilBible.com

    -----------------
    .............................................................

    December 15, 2013 at 7:30 am |
    • Realist

      while that may be true, there sure is lots of money in it. Just look at the vatican's wealth. Which includes stocks in companies as Bank of America.

      Children dieing a painful death of starvation while this pope and religion acc-umulate wealth through donations that were meant to feed those children

      December 15, 2013 at 7:36 am |
      • Reggie from LA

        Ummm, I think Pope Francis is trying to fix that?

        December 15, 2013 at 7:49 am |
        • Realist

          that's crap

          December 15, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • bhiuu

      yet another moron

      December 15, 2013 at 8:04 am |
  16. pope

    look at meeeeeee!! I'm humble

    December 15, 2013 at 7:29 am |
    • Reggie from LA

      Look and YOU, you (I can't say it. CNN will bounce me) you, Thing!

      December 15, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • William Jackson

      You obviously have much to be humble for.

      December 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
      • William Jackson

        My reply was to POPE????

        December 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  17. Mark

    Wow this @sshat is amazingly good at bs right wing propaganda. Now he even has the Pope responding to him. One day in the not too distant future, we will all look back at the sad folly that is Rush and wonder how so many lemmings could have supported him. Just boggles the mind.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:28 am |
    • Realist

      pope and rush, are the same. Both con men for sure.

      How about the pope act as a responsible human for once and answer to the UN for crimes against children worldwide.

      He ignores the UN's request. Odd since it's the truth that's the greatest healer. Again this pope acts as the rest to deny abused children. Then again, when he was cardinal, he followed the vatican orders to cover ups the crimes.

      December 15, 2013 at 7:32 am |
      • More cover up ?

        By court order !

        Minnesota Archdiocese Reveals Names Of 30 Priests Accused Of Abusing Minors

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/05/minnesota-archdiocese-priest-abuse_n_4393192.html

        December 15, 2013 at 7:55 am |
      • Alfred Hussein Neuman

        The church needs to come clean of the abuse by gay priests. The children deserve it.

        December 15, 2013 at 8:03 am |
        • Realist

          gay and pedo are NOT the same thing. You need to evolve.

          BTW,, the worst crimes were the cover ups by the vatican, pope, and cardinals as this goon was

          December 15, 2013 at 8:24 am |
  18. Peter Q Wolfe

    The people who I hate the most are the ones professing faith but don't act their own faith threw their actions. Most sinners are believers in God not by us athiests. We just tell you what you are like me that your ugly, pathetic and willfully inadaquate to change primitives into civilized beings. Admit the fact human nature is no better than the rest of the Animal Kingdom just like to think we are better than lions but we aren't.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • John

      Incoherent and uneducated. It makes no sense. And 'Threw' should be 'through,' 'your' should be 'you're,' etc. Who even tried to teach you to use a keyboard? They shouldn't have.

      December 15, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • Reggie from LA

      Are you saying that you are unable to separate some weird philosophy from the good this man is trying to do? He is acting like a man on a mission to help make change for the better. Yeah, he wears a robe that demonstrates a faith, but he doesn't wear the "red shoes" with it. I'd be you wear red shoes. Well said, John.

      December 15, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • madrogio

      Peter,
      Your therapist and I have collaborated and we now think shock therapy is the best way to go. Stop by immediately. We're looking at about 1,000,000 volts to start....

      December 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  19. Frederick US

    Limbaugh and the like are highly paid thugs who use their mouths to influence those into believing that the billionaires are the victims we should stand up for them. The fact of the matter is the rich are getting richer, the poor poorer, the middle class is dwindling and all you mindless little sheep who love Rush can't see the truth.

    Maybe you should turn off your radio and see what's happening for yourself without being brainwashed by someone who represents those who couldn't care less about you or your family. They are protecting their way of life, not yours. And they're much better funded than you. Wake up little sheep.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:23 am |
  20. Majed El Zein

    Hi,,, I'm Majed El Zein from Czech Republic , my city is Prague, I'm a customer Department Of The Treasury US USA IRS USA secretarial mr.Timotby Geithner , date of birth 10. 04. 1968, stat LB mobil 420608363548 adress Janskeho 2252 / 41 Praha 5 15500 Czech Republic , http://www.mzv.cz/beirut.I visit now LB Lebanon and I have a big problem with terrorist a danger life and I have a problem login with e-mail majed_el_zein@hotmail.com about this problem is terrorist.I need a help

    December 15, 2013 at 7:21 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.