Pope Francis: Communists Are Closet Christians

POPE Francis, whose criticisms of unbridled capitalism have prompted some to label him a Marxist, said in an interview that communists had stolen the flag of Christianity.

The 77-year-old pontiff gave an interview to Il Messaggero, Rome’s local newspaper, to mark the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, a Roman holiday.

He was asked about a blog post in the Economist magazine that said he sounded like a Leninist when he criticized capitalism and called for radical economic reform.

“I can only say that the communists have stolen our flag. The flag of the poor is Christian. Poverty is at the center of the Gospel,” he said, citing Biblical passages about the need to help the poor, the sick and the needy.

“Communists say that all this is communism. Sure, twenty centuries later. So when they speak, one can say to them: ‘but then you are Christian’,” he said, laughing.

Since his election in March 2013, Francis has often attacked the global economic system as being insensitive to the poor and not doing enough to share wealth with those who need it most.

Earlier this month, he criticized the wealth made from financial speculation as intolerable and said speculation on commodities was a scandal that compromised the poor’s access to food.

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32 thoughts on “Pope Francis: Communists Are Closet Christians

  1. This guy has never been persecuted for his religion as people were under communist regimes world wide.
    Under the communist regimes I grew up, we only had oranges at Christmas time because there was no supply thereof during the year. It is obvious that this pope has never had to do without basic items that we take for granted in the west.
    He might well attack capitalism from his comfortable cozy position, but remember that it is the capitalist Australia that provides monetary support for all sorts of migrants, not the Catholic Church. If communism was so good, we would not have had emigration to the capitalist west.

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    • As the young leader of Argentina’s Jesuits, the man who is now Pope Francis helped scores of dissidents escape from the country’s brutal military junta, which tortured and killed thousands of its own citizens, a new report revealed.

      Francis – then a 30-something priest known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio – had been accused by critics of turning a blind eye to the atrocities carried out by the military regime, which ruled from 1976 to 1983.

      But a pair of new books and a probe by the Associated Press that included interviews with people whose lives he helped save – risking his own neck in the process – have concluded that the future pope’s efforts were nothing short of heroic.
      http://nypost.com/2014/03/13/pope-francis-saved-many-from-argentinas-death-squads/

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      • From what I can see, he’s out of touch. And if he is so concerned about the poor, why does he not redistribute the Vatican’s wealth to help the poor? Let us remember that it was Catholicism that helped overthrow communism in Poland in the early 90’s. Let us also remember that Tony Abbot is a Catholic also, yet this did not stop him putting in place budget policies that are anti communist. Are Abott and Francis at logger heads now?

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    • Pope Francis has condemned the “moral decay” of the city of Rome, citing the child prostitutes that ply their trade and the busy soup kitchens of the Italian capital.

      In a broadside against declining moral standards in the West, the Pontiff cited the darker sides of the streets of his adopted home as an example of modern society’s failings.

      Despite it being the home of the Vatican, Pope Francis said, “The Eternal City, which should be a beacon to the world, is a mirror of the moral decay of society.”

      In a wide-ranging interview with Rome daily Il Messaggero, he also lashed out at political corruption, joblessness and Europe’s low birth rates. He claimed that many Europeans found many it easier to own pets than raise children.

      “This,” he said, “is another phenomenon of cultural decay, because affectionate relationships with animals are easier and more controllable. An animal is not free, while having a child is complicated.”

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      • “…….. having a child is complicated.”
        ‘…… and can make one’s eyes water’, adds his wife
        Perhaps he can legitimately …..er, pontificate about such matters when he gets a dog and a child of his own.

        Meanwhile….When in Rome, do as the Romans (do). — St Ambrose

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  2. When the disciples told Jesus to send the crowds away so that they could get something to eat, He told them to give them something to eat themselves. Why doesn’t the pope do this? Somehow it is all the fault of the financial institutions, etc. But never the fault of the Vatican who has immense riches and benefits from the very financial institutes he condemns.

    Sure, the Bible is full of passages talking about helping the poor. But notice that none of these passages talk about engagement in political activism to help the poor. The message is just go and do it! So why is Pope Franco still talking about it?

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    • “Why was not this perfume sold? It could have brought three hundred silver pieces and the money have been given to the poor…”, complained Judas (John 12: 5). Jesus did not agree with him.

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      • Spot-on Kate. Good discernment. You’ve gone right to the ‘heart’ of the matter. 😉

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      • In fact, none of that whole yarn strikes me as being ‘true’.
        eg the completely unfounded slur on Judas’ honesty:- “He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.”.

        Not only is there no single mention elsewhere of that accusation, but John offers no foundation (let alone evidence) for such an outrageous assertion.
        If Judas was suspected of tickling the till the first thing they’d’ve done was take the moneybag from him.

        A more likely contention would be (a) that Judas (being a Zealot) carried (without demur) the money because (a) he carried a knife and knew how/was prepared to use it against any would-be robber, and/or
        (b) he was the most reliable and trustworthy of all the disciples.
        (eg. he was the ONLY one Jesus could count on to ‘betray’ him so that he could fulfil the ‘prophecy’ which would validate him as the messiah.)

        Can anyone name any other realistic contenders for the job?

        In fact, I’d argue that the bulk of the ‘evidence’ clearly shows Judas to be “the Beloved Disciple” spoken of.

        And that would certainly have aroused the Green-eyed Monster in the rather effeminate John, who ~ judging from the scripture accredited to him ~ rather fancied himself in that role.
        Keep in mind that those verses, including the defamation, were written AFTER the event. The allegation of theft was never, anywhere, raised before John got pissed off.
        ***********************************

        and this…….”8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” flatly contradicts every other tenet he supposedly espoused.
        If that hypocrisy were accepted the Jesus character would lose all credibility across the board.

        Us atheists are free to challenge the dogma. There ought to be more of us!

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      • ps —> ” but you will not always have me.” ????
        Hadn’t he promised that he’d be with them “even until the end of the world”??

        ie. In his father’s house throughout Eternity ~ assuming they qualified.

        Case dismissed!

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      • I think that when it comes to Judas, you project, and only see what you WANT to see Dabs. What you consider to be noble attributes, others don’t. He sold Jesus out for thirty pieces of silver—a fortune! Where your treasures are, there your heart will be also.

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      • Yes! but read further. It is also written that:
        “She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial” (Mark 14:8). Is the pope planning to bury Christ again? Possibly! This time under the immense wealth of the Vatican which he hoards under the guise of glorifying God.

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      • Come on Mon; try to look past the self-serving dogma.

        For Jesus to be accepted as any sort of messiah he had to be seen as fulfilling at least some OT ‘prophecies’ (eg. spreading the story of the virgin birth. Even it were true, there was absolutely NO need for it to be broadcast ~ except insofar as it appeared to fulfil a ‘prophcy ~ was there?)
        There are many such ‘fulfilling’ yarns included in the NT, all of them to the same ends.

        And in the same vein he HAD to be arrested at a particular place/time ~ and later killed; otherwise his whole ‘career’ would’ve been a waste. (Whether he was ‘the Son of God’ or a psychotic seeking fame.)

        Now FF to the run-up to Good Friday, 33 AD.
        The gospels tell us that they were all laying low up in the Gallilee because the authorities had been looking for them.
        And what do they do, right on cue?…They walk many miles in order to make a triumphal march into Jerusalem…where they immediately go into hiding in a pre-arranged ‘safe-house’ for the ‘Last Supper’.

        The coppers obviously don’t know where to find them, but the prospective messiah HAS to be arrested, etc. at the prophesied time/way, otherwise the whole scam falls over.
        Naturally (I assume) they don’t want to get the provider of the safehouse into trouble, so the arrest must be arranged elsewhere ~ which means informing the coppers when and where they can pick him up. Someone had to ‘betray’ him.
        He knows this, and tells the disciples that’s what needs to happen. Upon which:-

        Luke 22. “……23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
        24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.”
        …the clear suggestion being that the ‘greatest’ among them would be the one relied upon to do the deed which would fulfil the messiah’s mission on earth. ………And almost immediately tells Peter even HE, ‘The Rock’ can’t be trusted to do the job:-
        ” 34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

        And soon after THAT he sends Judas on his mission; obviously the ONLY one who could be entrusted with such an essential task.

        And the kicker is this:- There’s no suggestion in any of the scriptures that, when Judas left the safe-house to call the cops, he knew that the others wouldn’t be there until he got back. The decision to leave had NOT, at that point, BEEN MADE.
        The ONLY way he could’ve known to bring the coppers to the Garden of Gesthemene was that Jesus told him that’s where they’d be ~ and when.

        The rest speaks for itself ~ with a couple of exceptions.
        ….The standard lesson says Judas committed suicide because he felt guilt at betraying Jesus.. That’s a HUGE stretch, and in no way fits in with the image of a Zealot (which Judas had been ~ and probably an experienced killer), nor with the other shennanigans at the Last Supper and elsewhere. Judas, from any account, was a tough, hard-nosed pragmatist all his life, and grew up that way: his father was also a zealot who’d been executed by the Romans, if memory serves..

        He threw the silver back at the priests to show his contempt for them, and by way of saying they’d been used. You wouldn’t do that from guilt. So much for ” Where your treasures are, there your heart will be also.”
        Then he suicided because his (Judas’) mission had also been completed, and though he’d done so successfully he couldn’t (didn’t want to?) live with the thought.
        You don’t need to feel ‘guilty’ to feel a profound sense of sadness about something you had to do to ‘do the right thing’. I get like that every time I have to shoot a dog (or any other suffering animal) no matter how necessary it was. And I know it’s a common experience among vets. I’ve seen them in tears.

        And, who knows, but maybe he wanted to get to his reward in heaven asap: the resurrection would’ve removed any last doubts he had about the ‘Reality” of what it’d all been about.
        ….even if he was a bit disappointed that Jesus didn’t recognise his (Judas’) sacrifice, perhaps because the idea of betrayal needed to be conserved for posterity.:-
        Jesus and the Beloved Apostle: John 21
        “Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”)
        …21So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” 22Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”

        That’s how I read it from the start; there’s something not kosher about the ‘standard’ version: it doesn’t ‘smell’ right.

        ps. Incidentally, 30 bits of silver wasn’t all that much: the perfume in question was worth TEN times as much.

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    • The annointing must have been very important to Jesus to over-ride aid to the poor. Anointing as prophet, priest and king, anointing for burial, the woman apparently knew more about the necessity than the disciples did. And it was her own perfume, not owned communaly.

      Judas I feel immensely sorry for. He only did the bidding of his friend and master. Withot him Christianity would not exist.

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      • Actually Strewth your comments about Judas are part of an idea that is floated by the Gnostics and others who have not regards for the Scripture.

        The bible tells of two ways redemption might have occurred.
        a) The sacrificial system described in the Torah. Under this system, Jesus would have sacrificed Himself with the full consent and recognition of the Jewish priesthood and religious leaders that He was offering Himself as redemption for their sins. There would have been no torture involved.
        b) By Jesus dying through being tortured to death, In fact if one compares the sacrifice of the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world, with the way the Torah describes that sacrifices were to occur, we find very little similarities. People did not torture the sacrificial lambs before putting them to death.

        There is a verse in 1 Peter 1:11 which indicates that there had been a lot of confusion over point b) above. Christ’s sacrifice was not supposed to happen that way, in spite of the fact that it was foretold that this is how it would occur. Revelation 1:17, Daniel 12:2, Mark 14:62 indicates punishment for those who carried out the crucifixion, because although Jesus died for our sins, it is conflict with the way God had ordained in the Torah; it violates basic human right; it violates justice.

        Now we come to Judas. The Bible calls him the son of perdition, the Bible calls him a devil (“have I not chosen you all, yet one of you is a devil” says Jesus in John 6:70). And in Jesus’ last recorded prayer, He says to the Father that “None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” John 17:12.

        So Jesus’ sacrifice would have occurred anyway, with or without Judas. Judas is a sad of story of what might have been, had he not chosen to be ruled by greed, and ambition instead of Christ.

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      • He did no such thing Strewth (override aid to the poor). When we look at Jesus’ life, He was poor Himself. So Judas was wrong on this account as well.

        The Bible says that:
        – In death he made his grave with the rich.
        – He rode in Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey.
        – He performed the Last Supper in someone else’ dwelling
        – Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man does not have a place to lay His head on, says Jesus to someone who wanted to follow Him.
        – Born in a manger, in a stable.

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  3. Let me see if I can work out the similarities between Communism and Christianity…

    Belief in God – ahhh, nope
    Free will – wrong again
    The 10 Commandments – Not likely
    Salvation, forgiveness, love – Doh!

    The only similarity is the claim to want to help the poor, by giving them oranges for Christmas

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    • When comparing the principles of Christianity and Communism it is not so much in the objectives of these principles where serious and significant differences will occur, rather in the manner adopted for the achieving these objectives.

      For example, one of the fundamental principles that tie both together is the belief in the common good and giving to others so that they do not go without. However, in terms of this being achieved there is a stark difference. Christians base their giving upon the religious belief of love. Therefore, they will make sacrifices for others. However, these sacrifices are freely chosen, in other words they are the result of a decision made by the person, not forced upon them by others. In communism, the reverse is the case. By dictate, the political structure of communism demands that its citizens share, whether they agree with this concept or not. Therefore, for this principle, Christianity is conscience based and communism centrally demanded.
      Secondly, it pays to look at the principle of freedom from oppression. Here again there are similarities in the principles of Christianity and Communism. Christians seek to free the oppressed and, in terms of freeing their people from what they see to be the evils of capitalism, so do the Communists. Nevertheless, it was with hatred that the Communist seeks to keep their people equal, using the very oppression that they founded their revolution upon to maintain this false equality. They also treat as outcasts those who do not conform to the party line. Christians seek freedom from oppression through love, but does not cast out those who are not equal, simply encourages them to search their soul to help their fellow man or woman. In other words caring in Communism is reserved for those who commit absolutely to the dictated creed, whilst caring in Christianity know no political, social or class boundaries.

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      • Well said, hence why I bristle at Communism. Communism ultimately is not about love (only in words), it is about control. You can’t force, dictate love.

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      • We are apt to equate Communism with the Russian variety of it, which was completely dominated by their culture, with all its faults. Chinese Communism followed the Chinese cultural path too, with the same result. Communism in a Western country would be different again, but with Western style faults.

        Inspired by the concept of economic equality, it did recognise some other inequalities, and asked that people contribute only according to their ability, and receive according to their needs. But human incentive and free will were lacking. They can be better found in religious faiths, and especially in Christianity I think.

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      • Perhaps:- ” You can’t force, dictate love.”
        But apparently you CAN buy it, if the price is right. (eg “Believe in me!” etc.)

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  4. ??? ” However, these sacrifices are freely chosen, in other words they are the result of a decision made by the person, not forced upon them by others”

    Like the 10% tithing-rate you mean?
    Don’t kid yourself Lyle; forcible taxation found it’s very origins in Exodus, Deuteronomy, etc.
    Failure to pay up incurred all sorts of lavish punishments.

    Incidentally…I seem to recall a radical cry for The Good Pope to divvy-up the church’s wealth among the world’s poor way back when, and an audit undertaken at John’s behest.
    It turned out that ~ at the prevailing exchange rate in the early 9160s ~ every poor person in the world would’ve received in the order of 32 cents.

    Another strange quirk of the human animal ~ and much to its credit ~ is that the most precious things have no price. Anything that is/can be bought immediately loses value.

    Even in today’s frantic ‘property market’ we see: whatever the price at which a property changes hands, for a week or so afterwards the vendor feels he sold it too cheaply and the purchaser feels he paid too much.

    It’s truly contended we’re made in the image of god! 😆

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    • So often I am in agreement with you Dabs. Humans are a funny bunch, aren’t we?

      As far as spending all the Vatican funds on the poor, what would it achieve, even if it were a good deal more than 32c each? Sending the Vatican broke is merely lowering into the poverty pit with others, not being able to stand at the top and give some help to pull people out..

      That can only be done by altering whatever circumstances cause economic injury, not by throwing Bandaids down. To make these huge alterations takes more than good will, it takes money to achieve. Now is the first time I know of where the Vatican could effectively make a difference – under this Pope.

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