Radio show host Rush Limbaugh sparked controversy among Catholics by taking on comments by Pope Francis regarding capitalism, referring to his religious leader's statements as "pure Marxism" last week.
Limbaugh criticized the Pope for his "Evangeelli Gaudium" document
where he calls for church reforms and scrutinizes certain principles of capitalism, according to the New York Daily News.
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"Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as 'a new tyranny' and beseeched global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality, in a document on Tuesday setting out a platform for his papacy and calling for a renewal of the Catholic Church," Limbaugh said on Nov. 27. "In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the 'idolatry of money.'"
"I gotta be very careful. I have been numerous times to the Vatican," Limbaugh continued. "It wouldn't exist without tons of money. But regardless, what this is, somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him. This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. Unfettered capitalism? That doesn't exist anywhere. Unfettered capitalism is a liberal socialist phrase to describe the United States."
It isn't the first time a popular conservative has taken on Pope Francis. Sarah Palin on Nov. 12 said on CNN's "The Lead"
that she was surprised by some of the pontiff's comments.
"He's had some statements that to me sound kind of liberal and has taken me aback," Palin said to CNN's Jake Tapper. "It kind of surprised me. Unless I really dig deep into what his messaging is and do my own homework I'm not going to just trust what I hear in the media."
Some Catholic organizations have strongly defended the Pope, saying that Limbaugh's comments about the pontiff's positions are off the mark.
Christopher Hale, of the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, called for Limbaugh to apologize for his comments.
"Catholics of all political stripes are disturbed by Rush Limbaugh's incendiary comments this afternoon about Pope Francis," Hale wrote last week on the alliance's website. "To call the Holy Father a proponent of 'pure Marxism' is both mean spirited and naive. Francis's critique of unrestrained capitalism is in line with the Church's social teaching. His particular criticism of 'trickle down economics' strengthens what Church authorities have said for decades . . ."
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