Bill Donohue: Limbaugh Entitled to Criticize Pope

Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 03:09 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Rush Limbaugh has an unlikely supporter of his controversial comments about Pope Francis, who the conservative radio talk-show host said is promoting an economic plan that smacks of "pure Marxism."

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said Limbaugh is entitled to his opinion and was not out of line in complaining about the pontiff's views.

Story continues below video.

Francis: A Pope for Our Time, The Definitive Biography

"Catholic League has never, ever, ever been after anybody for criticizing the pope or priest or a bishop. We get involved when you hit below the belt, when you start becoming insulting like - a Bill Maher would be a classic example," Donohue told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"He didn't like the pope's views on economics. Rush Limbaugh is entitled to that."

In a statement, the pope slammed capitalism, warning the "idolatry of money" would lead to a "new tyranny." He also ripped "trickle-down economics," which carry "a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power."

Limbaugh went after the pope in a strongly-worded monologue titled, "It's Sad How Wrong Pope Francis Is (Unless It's a Deliberate Mistranslation By Leftists)."

"This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope," Limbaugh said, insisting that Francis' views, were "dramatically, embarrassingly, puzzlingly wrong."

He added that the Vatican "wouldn't exist without tons of money."

Catholic groups quickly jumped on Limbaugh.

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good responded: "Catholics of all political stripes are disturbed by Rush Limbaugh’s incendiary comments … Contrary to what Mr. Limbaugh suggests, the Catholic Church isn’t built on money, but on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.

"We call on Mr. Limbaugh to apologize and retract his remarks. We urge other Church organizations and leaders–both ordained and lay–to also condemn Mr. Limbaugh’s comments."

We proudly stand with Pope Francis as he provides prophetic leadership for the Catholic Church and the entire world.”

Francis: A Pope for Our Time, The Definitive Biography

But Donohue defended Limbaugh's right to criticize, as long as he didn't make it personal.
"Everyone's entitled to criticize the Catholic Church on any public policy issue just as long as it's not hitting below the belt," Donohue said.

See "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.


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