December 14th, 2013
08:30 PM ET

Pope: Marxist ideology is 'wrong'

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(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. Solution between the extremes

    According to this blog, both communism and free market economy are considered less attractive from the perspective of the Big Boss:


    January 10, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
  2. reklama firmy

    rezultatu odkryje się w zasięgu wszelkiego spośród nas. Kreatywnie ukatrupione zapory dopuszczają nie ostatnim tchem nadać wnętrzu tendencyjny

    January 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
  3. Prof Robb

    Capitalism rob's Peter to pay Paul, we all know this, it's privatises profit and socialises risk and loss. Billions are robbed daily through this great extraction enabled by the rule of law which regularises and maximises this grand thievery of a system.

    December 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • brent.ro

      Socialism rob's Peter to pay Paul, we all know this, it's steals profit and socialises dependence. Billions are robbed daily through this great extraction enabled by the rule of law which regularises and maximises this grand thievery of a system.

      January 5, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
  4. davis@bwana.endjunk.com

    A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

    December 24, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  5. Dyslexic doG

    At this time of the year, I send out a reminder to all my friends:

    Jesus wasn't born, he was written!

    December 23, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Rochester NY

      Dude, I'm an Atheist and even I believe Jesus (Yeshua) was an actual person.

      December 24, 2013 at 10:40 am |
  6. devent

    the continued risistance for the acceptance of this new faith or concept could have reason,maybe a higher force just as what is believe is not manifisting his will through direct manipulation like a commander,king or authoritarian like dictator ,but rather like a natural evolutiom that seeks the solution through experience or trial and error,just like evolution.thanks for the resistance it deepens the insights.

    December 23, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  7. shawbrooke

    The Pope is also leading the way to plain speech. The world needs more plain speech and less rhetoric.

    December 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
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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.