Pope Francis on Saturday vehemently rebuked claims that his view on global economic policy and capitalism makes him a "Marxist."
"Marxist ideology is wrong," the Pope told the Italian newspaper La Stampa. "But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don't feel offended."
The Pope created a mini-firestorm this month when he released an apostolic exhortation called Envangelii Gaudium. Critics, including Rush Limbaugh, called the writing "pure Marxism."
But the Pope said not so.
There is nothing in the Exhortation that cannot be found in the social Doctrine of the Church. 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 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, 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.