Pope Francis has come forward saying he's not a Marxist after many American conservatives criticized the pontiff for what they perceived as anti-capitalist views — specifically against trickle-down economics.
In an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa, the pope says: "The Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don't feel offended."
Last month, in a church document known as an apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis sharply criticized focus on profits over people and the world's growing inequality. (Via The Vatican)
Which didn't sit well with American conservative commentators like Rush Limbaugh, who described the pope's remarks as "pure Marxism." (Via CNN)
Francis defended his views, saying they don't make him a Marxist. He added all of the views expressed in the document, in one way or another, follow the Catholic Church's social doctrine. (Via KABC)
When asked why he was opposed to trickle-down economics, Francis said it "expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power."
Francis has already made his name as a charitable pope. This Christmas, the Vatican will give 2,000 envelopes with free public transportation tickets and telephone cards to those in need. The envelopes will also contain a signed photo from Pope Francis. (Via The Telegraph)
The interview with Pope Francis covered a wide range of other issues, including speculation about the creation of a female cardinal, a move that some have considered controversial. The pope denied those rumors. (Via The Guardian)
Pope Francis has been in the papacy since Pope Benedict resigned earlier this year. The pope will turn 77 on Tuesday.