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Pope Francis says he’s not offended if you call him a Marxist

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File THIS ONE under “Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones….”

Pope Francis said he knew a lot of “good” Marxists but was no communist himself, following criticism of his diatribes against unfettered capitalism from conservative commentators in the United States.

“Marxist ideology is wrong. But in my life I have met a lot of Marxists who are good people, so I do not feel offended,” Francis said in an interview with the Italian daily La Stampa published on Sunday.

He said his condemnations of the inequality caused by the current global economic system were not intended to be an expert analysis and were only a reiteration of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church.

“That does not mean being a Marxist,” he said.

US radio host Rush Limbaugh labelled as “pure Marxism” a text published by the pope last month in which he warned that an unfair economic system “kills” and warned that unregulated capitalism was “a new tyranny”.

The criticism of the pope, who witnessed the effects of a devastating economic collapse first hand in his homeland Argentina, was repeated by members of the Tea Party movement and the television channel Fox News.

Francis is himself a moderate conservative and was a fierce critic of the leftist-inspired Liberation Theology movement in Latin America, although he has recently appeared to reconcile with its leaders.

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  1. Pope Francis also said this:

    ” In some places a spiritual “desertification” has evidently come about, as the result of attempts by some societies to build without God or to eliminate their Christian roots. In those places “the Christian world is becoming sterile, and it is depleting itself like an overexploited ground, which transforms into a desert”.[66] In other countries, violent opposition to Christianity forces Christians to hide their faith in their own beloved homeland. This is another painful kind of desert. But family and the workplace can also be a parched place where faith nonetheless has to be preserved and communicated. Yet “it is starting from the experience of this desert, from this void, that we can again discover the joy of believing, its vital importance for us men and women. In the desert we rediscover the value of what is essential for living; thus in today’s world there are innumerable signs, often expressed implicitly or negatively, of the thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life. And in the desert people of faith are needed who, by the example of their own lives, point out the way to the Promised Land and keep hope alive”.[67] In these situations we are called to be living sources of water from which others can drink. At times, this becomes a heavy cross, but it was from the cross, from his pierced side, that our Lord gave himself to us as a source of living water. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of hope!”

  2. And this:

    “Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenceless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative. Yet this defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defence of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the creator of the individual”.[176]

    Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or “modernizations”. It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life. On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?”

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