Pope Francis says he’s no Marxist but that even Marxists can be good people

Pontiff defends comments made last month on ‘tyranny’ of ‘unfettered capitalism’

Pope Francis, responding to conservative criticism that his economic and social ideas smack of communism, said in an Italian newspaper interview yesterday that he was not a Marxist but that even Marxists can be good people.

Pope Francis also denied reports he would name a woman cardinal, said there was good progress in cleaning up Vatican finances and confirmed he would visit Israel and Palestine next year, according to La Stampa.

Last month US radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh said parts of a papal document about the world economy were "pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope" and suggested that someone else had written the document for him.

Asked about the accusations, the pope said: "Marxist ideology is wrong. But in my life I have known many Marxists who are good people, so I don't feel offended."

In last month’s document, seen as a platform for his papacy, Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny” and said an “economy of exclusion and inequality” had proven to be deadly for many around the world.

In another document last week, Pope Francis said huge salaries and bonuses were symptoms of an economy based on greed and called again for nations to narrow the wealth gap. – (Reuters)