December 2nd, 2013
11:29 AM ET
Rush Limbaugh: Pope is preaching 'pure Marxism'
By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - Pope Francis: Successor to St. Peter ... the people's pontiff ... Marxist?
That's what conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh suggests, calling the Pope's latest document "pure Marxism."
Limbaugh blasted the pontiff on Wednesday, a day after Francis released "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel), a 50,000-word statement that calls for church reform and castigates elements of modern capitalism.
Limbaugh's segment, now online and entitled "It's Sad How Wrong Pope Francis Is (Unless It's a Deliberate Mistranslation By Leftists)," takes direct aim at the pope's economic views, calling them "dramatically, embarrassingly, puzzlingly wrong."
The Vatican issued the English translation of "Evangelii," which is known officially as an apostolic exhortation and unofficially as a pep talk to the worlds 1.5 billion Catholics.
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."
READ MORE: Pope Francis: No more business as usual
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.
But Limbaugh, whose program is estimated to reach 15 million listeners, called the Pope's comments "sad" and "unbelievable."
"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."
In fact, Argentina was a battlefield between leftist socialists and right-wing security forces during much of Francis' early career in the country, where he was a Jesuit priest and later archbishop of Buenos Aires.
Limbaugh, who is not Catholic, said he admires the faith "profoundly." He admired Pope Francis as well, "up until this," Limbaugh said.
The talk show host also said that he has made numerous visits to the Vatican, which he said "wouldn't exist without tons of money."
"But regardless, what this is, somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him," Limbaugh added. "This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope."
Limbaugh took particular issue with the Pope's criticism of the "culture of prosperity," which the pontiff called a "mere spectacle" for the many people who can't afford to participate.
"This is almost a statement about who should control financial markets," Limbaugh said. "He says that the global economy needs government control."
"I'm not Catholic, but I know enough to know that this would have been unthinkable for a pope to believe or say just a few years ago," Limbaugh continued.
In fact, Francis' predecessor, Benedict XVI, now pope emeritus, could be just as strong a critic of capitalism.
In 2009, Benedict, in an official church document called an encyclical, said there was an urgent need for "a political, juridical and economic order" that would "manage the global economy."
As Limbaugh notes, Benedict's predecessor, the late Pope John Paul II, was a noted foe of communism, after living under its oppressions in his native Poland. But even John Paul thought that unregulated capitalism could have negative consequences.
In "Evangelii," Francis called for more of a spiritual and ethical revolution than a regulatory one.
"I encourage financial experts and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: `Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs,'" said Francis, quoting the fifth-century St. John Chrysostom.
Liberal Catholics defended Pope Francis on Monday, calling on Limbaugh to apologize and retract his remarks.
"To call the Holy Father a proponent 'pure Marxism' is both mean-spirited and naive," said Christopher Hale of the Washington-based Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. "Francis's critique of unrestrained capitalism is in line with the Church's social teaching."
Limbaugh is not the only conservative commentator to take issue with the Pope's views on capitalism.
READ MORE: Sarah Palin 'taken aback' by Pope Francis's 'liberal' statements
“I go to church to save my soul," said Fox News' Stuart Varney, who is an Episcopalian. "It’s got nothing to do with my vote. Pope Francis has linked the two. He has offered direct criticism of a specific political system. He has characterized negatively that system. I think he wants to influence my politics.”
It doesn't sound like the criticism is slowing Francis down, however. He's started sending a Vatican contingent, including the Papal Swiss Guards, into Rome to deliver food and charity.
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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.
Rush, please just go take some more Oxy or whatever is floating that fat head of yours these days. Nobody cares what you think.
Limbaugh says the Pope is a Marxist. So was Jesus.
Rush is the Lord.
Correcting your typo:
Rush is the LARD.
I can only conclude that Mr Limbaugh knows neither Marxism nor what Jesus Christ taught. He is simply incorrect, nothing more. No emotional reaction to him being wrong. He made a fool of himself in front of millions. Mr Limbaugh, are you proud of yourself? You might (if you can) do some research on both Marxism & Christianity. What Christ taught us is not what you practice at all.
No, Mr. Limbaugh. Pope Francis is preaching the same thing Jesus Christ preached. If you ever took time to read the gospels, you'll find that the teachings and values of Jesus Christ are a far cry from and at great odds with the message you preach.
Just keep talking Rush, you smarmy deceitful blowhard, pretty soon you'll be down to peddling Gold Bond foot powder to your buddies around a pickle barrel in some isolated hamlet the freeway missed.
A Fat Satan incarnate doesn't like the pope? Go fig!
the pope need not worry
catholics idolize mary more than they idolize money.
Another Rush attempt to win the catholic vote.
Its sad that a minuscule american personality, has the platform through CNN, to make outrageous and defamatory claims about the leader of the catholic church, The pope is the spiritual leader of billions, Limbaugh is an un-important shock jock, who will be quickly forgotten within five years of his death, a tiny footnote in american history, how exactly does he rate having this forum? its baffling to me.
Rush is doing what he does best. He makes inflammatory remarks and gets people discussing him.
Does anyone take this clown seriously?
Unfortunately, many do. To some, everything he puts out there is gospel truth.
Oooh..careful, Rush. I don't think Francis is a guy you want to get on the wrong side of. Just sayin'
funny, coming from someone who was previously addicted to painkillers.
Still trying to figure out how the two are related.
While he was a drug addict he was advocating heavy penalties for drug users. The pope is trying to take christianity back to its more humble origins where helping the poor was a basic tenet and Limbaugh resists that. All smacks of hypocrisy.
If Kelly replied that way, I can then understand what was meant. However, Kelly hasn't yet explained the connection.
Thank goodness I've taken enough painkillers; the rining in my ears
The Pope would probably beg everyone to forgive because one must have extra compassion for the mentally incapacitated.
That's it, either Limbaugh or the Pope. Make your choice on who you really follow right wingers.
Neither. I follow Jesus.
8 lb baby Jesus or older Elvis style Jesus? Or do you practice Judaism like the real Jesus?
If Jesus practiced the "real" Judaism, why did the Jews have him crucified?
chief, Wasn't it god's plan?
Santa – what plan are you talking about? That Jesus should practice "real" Judaism or him being crucified? Or some other plan?
Mr. Limbaugh, might I suggest – never miss a good chance to shut the He11 up.
Well well, but can we expect? The guy is from Argentina, a country that for the most part of it's history has been dominated by Fascists. That hosted many NAZIS after WW2 and that until recent history, photos of Adolf Hitler were found in the barracks of the Army. Communism, Marxism and socialism are staples in the politics there still, but then again; who is Rush Limbaugh? Oh, I know an American radical Nationalist! 😉 so... then; what have we here? Well I would say this is inside quarrel between 2 beast in the jungle. Or 2 guys in the same little row boat in the swamp of the jungle, just rowing in opposite directions, struggling to be one to lead the little row boat somewhere. 😀 😀
I BUILT THIS !!! Doesn't that go contrary to giving thanks to a Creator who bestowed good health, good parents, a fighting spirit, a good birth country upon those who do achieve material wealth in their lives ?
Those who do achieve material wealth in their lives do not necessarily have good health, good parents, a fighting spirit, a good birth country. There is no evidence of a creator or that those attributes are bestowed by a god.
Anybody familiar with liberation theology would realize Limbaugh's accusation isn't so far off.
That big fat face with the open mouth portrays him perfectly. He should be ignored.
Didn't know rush was an expert on Papal matters