Pope Francis addressed accusations from ultra-conservative critics like Rush Limbaugh who accused him of being a Marxist and Sarah Palin who argued the “liberal” leader is the “Catholic Church’s Obama.”
Pope Francis previously denounced the global economy for worshipping a “God called money” and criticized world leaders for denying immigrant rights, treating them like “pawns on the chessboard of humanity.”
"This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope,” conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said in early December.
In an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa, Pope Francis was asked about criticism.
“Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended,” the Pope said. “There is nothing in the Exhortation that cannot be found in the social Doctrine of the Church.”
“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," he added. "The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefiting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger nothing ever comes out for the poor."
When the Pope was named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year, Limbaugh claimed it was his remarks that led to that decision.
In a radio segment titled “Did El Rushbo Make Il Papa TIME Magazine's Person of the Year?” on Dec. 11 Limbaugh told listeners, “I can't tell you the number of people who have gotten hold of me today who think the pope was named Man of the Year because of me. That the media decided they hated me more than the pope. That TIME Magazine hated me more than the pope, and therefore it was a thumb in my eye.”