- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 15, 2013

Pope Francis, responding to recent criticism by conservatives, assured that he is not a Marxist, although he said Marxists can be good people.

In an apostolic exhortation last month, the pontiff attacked “unfettered capitalism” and argued, “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say, ‘Thou shalt not,’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.”

Conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh blasted the pope as going “beyond Catholicism” to preach about politics.

“[This is] pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope,” Mr. Limbaugh argued at the time.

But Pope Francis told the Italian newspaper La Stampa over the weekend that he believes Marxist ideology is wrong.

“Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended,” he said. “There is nothing in the Exhortation that cannot be found in the social Doctrine of the Church.”

He argued that he wasn’t speaking from a technical standpoint, but rather he was trying to “give a picture of what is going on.”

“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 promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefiting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger nothing ever comes out for the poor,” he said.

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