Is Pope Francis a Communist? A Critical Response


The conservative Catholics in the United States of America is reported to have branded Pope Francis as a ‘Communist’ because of his stand on social justice, support of the poor, critical views on Capitalism, world economy, climate change and so forth. Cardinal Jorgo Mario Bergoglio, when elected Pope in March 2013, very deliberately chose the name ‘Francis’ to show how close to his heart were some of the core issues plaguing the world in an imitation also of St. Francis of Assisi, often named the second Christ. Coming from the Latin American continent home to some of the poorest countries of the world, Francis was obviously influenced by Liberation Theology, a theological movement launched to highlight the predicament of the poor. Hence it is important to make sense of the perception of Pope Francis being a communist. Pope Francis has often been critical of the Trickle-down economic theory, which in fact is propounded to justify the amassing of wealth by the rich. In the case of the poor, the Theory doesn’t really work. Pope Francis has very fittingly responded to him being labelled as a ‘Communist’ saying it is Communists who have borrowed from Christian ideals and principles and certainly it is not the other way round. Is Pope Francis a ‘Communist’ then? This contribution tries to examine this question.

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