Pope Francis is known for his economically liberal statements, labeling some to even call him a Marxist.
At first, it was Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck who described him as Marxist- now an Economist blogger is arguing he is close to economic Leninism, in fact saying he has adopted an “ultra radical line” similar to Lenin on the relationship between capitalism and war. To directly quote the blog post in The Economist:
By positing a link between capitalism and war, he seems to be taking an ultra-radical line: one that consciously or unconsciously follows Vladimir Lenin in his diagnosis of capitalism and imperialism as the main reason why world war broke out a century ago.
The question is: just how close is the Pope to Communism?
In an interview given to Il Messaggero, Rome’s local newspaper, the Pope was asked about the blog post on the Economist that suggested the Pope was close to Leninism. The pope responded:
“I can only say that the communists have stolen our flag. The flag of the poor is Christian. Poverty is at the center of the Gospel.”
He added the following, then laughed:
Communists say that all this is communism. Sure, twenty centuries later. So when they speak, one can say to them: ‘but then you are Christian.’
Pope Francis directly said last year, defending himself against the charge that he was Marxist, that “Marxist ideology is wrong.” But then he added: “But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended.”
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What do you think? Is Pope Francis more of an ideological bedfellow of atheist Vladimir Lenin than John Paul II on economic matters? Or are his economically liberal and pro-Communist statements being blown out of proportion?
Photo credit: Catholic Church England and Wales (Flickr)