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Pope Francis: Communists are closet Christians

Pope Francis: Communists are closet Christians

In a recent interview, Pope Francis commented on the parallels between his social critique and Leninism.

He compared Christianity to communism, and commented that in recent years, communism had stolen “Christianity’s flag.”

“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.

Read the whole Reuters article here.


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Communism is not Marxism. Communism is a type of economic system, not necessarily a political system.

Stop apologizing for it or attacking it, because you’re attacking a ghost, not actual communism.

You want to know excellent examples of communism? They’re found in Acts, they’re found in Benedict’s Rule. Argue semantics, if it makes you feel clever, but that’s communism. Stop being afraid of a word. That kind of pointless semantic wrangling and point-scoring is part of the problem of people shunning churches, as in an above article.

You won’t listen. You’ll go back to the same pointless wrangling, but I keep neurotically pushing myself to tell you.

– Mark Brunson

Rod Gillis

@ John B. Chilton, John those are indeed longstanding criticisms of communism, but one can add that there are equally powerful criticisms of the free market economy and globalization which is hardly working well for the vast majority of poor people, including the poor in all western democracies. One sees the use of tremendous wealth to block legislation on everything from climate change to health care. If the arguments are based on centralization of wealth and power, and the problem of corruption, the critique cuts both ways. [Roman] Catholic social teaching provides an insightful critique of all forms of materialism, including both the dialectical materialism of Marx and the consumer materialism in so called free market economies. I put Roman in square brackets because it really is Roman Catholic social teaching. Anglicans love the choreography and lace wardrobe of Catholicism, but in mainstream Anglicanism, there is a lack of enthusiasm for Catholic teaching on the economy, it is just too hard nosed and decisive for us in the main.Don’t want to tick off the wealthy pew purses!We prefer “outreach” where noblesse oblige operates without challenging the actual order of things. It is important that the wealthy feel generous and the poor feel grateful, no? Although, to be fair the average R.C. in the few is hardly zealous for the social teaching of their own denomination either.

John B. Chilton

There can be at least two reasons to criticize communism.

1) You believe communism means a leveling of income. And you either believe that means government taking or it means the incentives to work will be undercut. And the result could be that even the poor are worse off.

2) You believe communism in practice is more corrupt or incompetent than our economy as it is. You believe that benevolently run communist system cannot possibly run as productively as markets because markets work well even when no one has all the knowledge dispersed among us. And a communist system relies on the impossible — the centralization of that dispersed knowledge. And, further, no system that needs as much centralization as communism will avoid those who hold the reins of power from benefiting themselves.

Francis’s system relies on changes of heart of the individuals in the system. That’s a big ask. Of course it’s what his faith pursues.

Ann Fontaine

One of Islam’s 5 pillars is: Concern for and almsgiving to the needy;

Rod Gillis

I like the comment by Tobias Haller. Many of the core values of Christianity, including care for the poor, are Jewish indeed. In fact, care for the poor, is something of a universal value. Communism is a diverse phenomena, many of the Canadians who fought with the International Brigades against fascism in Spain during the 1930s were labelled as communists as a derogatory thing. Also, an oops for my typo on dialectical materialism.

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