Pope Francis arrives in the US, denies being a leftist

"I haven’t said a single thing that’s not in the social doctrine of the Church"
Pope Francis is greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other political and Catholic church leaders after arriving from Cuba September 22, 2015 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Francis will be visiting Washington, New York City and Philadelphia during his first trip to the United States as pope. (CBS New York)

Pope Francis is greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other political and Catholic church leaders after arriving from Cuba September 22, 2015 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Francis will be visiting Washington, New York City and Philadelphia during his first trip to the United States as pope. (CBS New York, Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The following comes from a September 22 Crux article by John L. Allen Jr.

WASHINGTON, DC – Pope Francis arrived in the United States to a boisterous welcome Tuesday, telling reporters on the papal plane that he won’t raise the Cuban embargo in his speech to Congress and rejecting the suggestion that he’s a political leftist.

“Maybe there’s an impression I’m a little bit more leftie, but I haven’t said a single thing that’s not in the social doctrine of the Church,” Francis insisted, referring to official Catholic teaching on social questions.

At one stage, the pontiff even challenged a journalist to give him an example of something he’s said that was “too strong.”

Asked about a recent Newsweek cover story asking if the pope is Catholic, Francis joked that “I’m ready to recite the Creed if need be,” referring to an ancient statement of core Catholic beliefs recited at every Mass.

The pontiff made the comments aboard the Alitalia flight carrying him from Santiago de Cuba, where he wrapped up a three-day visit to Cuba earlier in the day, to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland for the start of a six-day swing in the United States that will also take him to New York and Philadelphia.

According a rare honor to the pontiff, President Barack Obama and his wife and daughters met Francis at the bottom of the stairs on the red-carpeted tarmac, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, who is Catholic, and his family, along with the mayor of the District of Colombia and the governors of Maryland and Virginia. Presidents usually make important visitors come to them at the White House.

During his press conference on the papal plane, in response to another question about why he didn’t meet anti-Castro dissidents during his three-day trip to Cuba, Francis said he would have been willing to do so because “I’m happy to meet everybody,” adding that he could not confirm that several dissidents were detained trying to reach him.

Pope Francis waves from the back of his Fiat after arriving from Cuba September 22, 2015 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Francis will be visiting Washington, New York City and Philadelphia during his first trip to the United States as pope. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Pope Francis waves from the back of his Fiat after arriving from Cuba September 22, 2015 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Francis will be visiting Washington, New York City and Philadelphia during his first trip to the United States as pope. (CBS New York, Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The pope declined to say what he might have discussed with dissidents, saying “I can’t deal in hypotheticals,” other than that he would have told them “the good news of God.”
Francis did say, however, that the Catholic Church called on the Cuban regime to release prisoners on the occasion of his visit, and claimed that more than 3,000 had been let go as a result.

The pontiff also said he would not specifically raise the US trade embargo on Cuba in his address to a joint meeting of the US Congress Thursday, but would stress the importance of “binational and multinational agreements” that can offer “signs of progress towards coexistence.”

Finally, the pope said that in the wake of his private meeting with Fidel Castro, he couldn’t comment on whether the icon of Cuba’s Socialist revolution may have “repented” of his treatment of the Catholic Church, saying “conversion is a very intimate thing, a matter of conscience.”

Francis said that in his 40-minute meeting with Fidel Castro Sunday, among other things they discussed the pope’s recent encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, and that the elder Castro is “very worried” about environmental questions.

With regard to American perceptions of his political leanings, Francis indicated he knows what’s in the air.

The pontiff laughingly said that a cardinal friend recently told him a “good Catholic lady … a little bit rigid, but a good Catholic” had expressed concern that Francis might be an “anti-pope”, because he doesn’t wear the traditional papal red shoes.

Francis conceded that perhaps the way his positions have been cast has given an impression of leaning to the left, but called it nothing more than “an error of explanation.”
“My teaching on all these things, on Laudato Si’, on economic imperialism, is that of the social doctrine of the Church,” he said.

Comments

  1. As Fidel Castro was taking over Cuba over 50 years ago, he exclaimed that he was not a Marxist nor a Communist. Reality proved that he was lying. On the Alitalia jet, Pope Francis proclaimed that he is not a Leftist. Well, some very well known pundits have declared that he is, and the fact that Pope Francis praised Obama shows that he is. The upcoming Synod in Rome will also confirm that the pope is a leftist.

    • The timing could not be more propitious after the papal whirlwind tour garnering worldwide praise and accolades for positioning him with sufficient bargaining chips to pretty much carry off whatever plans the ” un leftists” cardinals are planning with their most assuredly not leftist leader that handpicked them (half of them older than a Chinese Cardinal that was told he was too old) that will basically undermine and completely change the teachings of the Church but no teachings will be changed and will the judgmental, heartless orthodox Catholics just roll over and die please?

  2. Despite his comments, “leftist” might be one way to describe him … what I find interesting is if you read his interview with the press, is how cluttered his mind is. He may be a well-meaning man, but I do not think he was well-formed in the Faith. I find I’m rather weary of all the media coverage this pope gets. True, he is the leader of the Church and acts in Christ’s place, but he is not Christ, so we needn’t hang on every word he says. There are a billion other Catholics, so perhaps we could spread the media coverage around.

  3. Just read and heard in the mainstream media where Pope Francis praised Obama and said he is doing a wonderful job. Basic logic: if you praise a liberal, you are probably a liberal; if you mock conservatives, you are also a liberal (look what Pope Francis did to Cardinal Burke, and how he ridiculed papal dress). Basically, what Obama has done to America, Pope Francis is doing to the Catholic Church (they are ruining them).

  4. Sorry he is a leftist

  5. Abeca Christian says

    Whats not being reported: The Pope spoke against gay marriage, he spoke against abortion, against the presidents mandate of contraception on the nuns etc. Yup alot of good not being reported.

    • The Pope did not define marriage as being between one man and one woman, nor did he use the word ABORTION when he spoke before CONGRESS.
      Here is a link to the Pope’s entire speech.
      http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/full-text-of-pope-francis-speech-to-congress

      • Abeca Christian says

        He did. Your not listening. Nor does his excellency has to define it again and again because it is already defined by God. God does not have repeat Himself in His natural law. Nor does Jesus have to be direct when they asked Him to save himself from being cruxified. Our Lord was meek and it make many furious. If you believe that in the public eye, there are many who are swine and will not hear or acknowledge the pearls that we have, why would we cast them off to the wicked world who will not listen who only want to look for an opportunity to devour.

        • This NEEDS clarifying because it does not clearly reconcile with Jesus’s clear apostolic instructions.

          Pope Francis said at the interreligious meeting that he hoped their presence together will be a powerful sign of their shared desire to be a force for reconciliation in this community and throughout the world. He went on to warn against attempts to create “a rigid uniformity,” saying “ **we can and must build unity on the basis of our diversity of languages, cultures and religions.** Together, he continued, “we are called to say “no to every attempt to impose uniformity and **“yes” to a diversity accepted and reconciled.” ** continued……

        • http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-address-at-ground-zero-memorial-in-ne

          If these diversities are all “accepted and reconciled” then there would have been no need for Our Lord to use the word “TEACH”

          “And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” Matthew 28:18-20 Douay-Rheims

  6. Again, it is HIS opinion that he is not a leftist. Perhaps if he was less willing to share his personal thoughts, the clarity which is sorely lacking in this pontificate could be restored.

  7. Did Pope Francis meet with any dissidents while he was in Cuba? Or were they all in jail during his visit? Has Francis met with any conservative Catholic clergy or laity in the U.S? Does he plan to meet with any conservative politicians?

  8. Pope Francis having to deny he’s a Communist is like Pope Benedict having to deny he’s a Nazi.
    Benedict did serve in the Hitler Youth, but that was mandatory for children in his time and place.
    Francis does preach about the evils of capitalism (and communism), but that’s been done by all the recents popes for many decades! It’s not the job of the Vicar of Christ on earth to promote the Republican Party, or to declare that capitalism should rule the planet, or any other nonsense. His job is to proclaim the Gospel as Jesus did: “go, sell what what you have, and give to the poor. Then, follow me.”

    • Anon give once instance where he clearly denounced communism….he accepted a blasphemous crucifix shaped in a hammer and sickle … he venerates the poor as automatic saints and attacks those who are not poor.

    • The nuances will be ignored. The world will only interpret his comments in one way, and that is to assist the global elite’s project to install socialist/communist world government. That is the end game of political correctness, a term that was coined in Lenin’s Soviet Union. And the project will be successful, as St. John prophesied in the Book of Revelation that the antichrist will rule over “every nation, tongue and creed”. By definition, the coming rule of the antichrist cannot occur except in the context of world government. These forces need to be opposed, not assisted.

  9. Me thinks Bergoglio doth protesteth too loudly.

  10. Comrade Bergoglio!!

  11. Steve Phoenix says

    In all the US, there may have been 35 executions in the last year (Death Penalty Information center). The pope gave one line, fairly indirectly, to abortion, which kills one million a year. China and N. Korea execute hundreds annually.

    I continue to be appalled that this pope kept his blathering mouth absolutely zipped up about capital punishment when he met face-to-face with the Greatest Living Murderer and his Regime in Havana last week—a man easily responsible for the executions, since 1959, of hundreds of thousands, as well as the seizure of people’s children and their assets, for which the Castro regime continues to enslave, profit and enjoy the fruits of their diabolical scheme—and yet excoriates, once again, the…

    • Steve Phoenix says

      .. and yet excoriates the great punching-bag to the north with aplomb.

      All in a speech where Jesus Christ could not be mentioned by the Vicar of Christ (the God of Moses got mentioned, and Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, each two ex-communists, twice each).

      Cowardice, cowardice, cowardice.

  12. Not many times during the Pope’s speeches at Congress or at the UN was God’s name mentioned. The speeches were socialistic, and not moral or religious in tone. This is a problem. Pope Francis is a socialist, and a leftist.

  13. Steve Phoenix says

    Among the many amnesia-afflicted fellow Catholics who say-hey to the pope’s silence with Fidel Castro, there is the effort to forget the facts: Fidel from 1959 on personally authorized firing squad executions, and has continued to do so to the present. His own brother, Raul Castro, used to blindfold the victims himself (there are photos available for the deaf and blind Catholics and their silent watchdog pope to see);

    http://babalublog.com/fidel-castros-greatest-atrocities-and-crimes/fidel-castros-firing-squads-in-cuba/

    To this day, Castro’s prisons are built in a circular style with a machine-gun nest in the middle and the cells, bars-only separating the prisoners from the elements year-round, open to the sky: so that…

    • Steve Phoenix says

      ..So that the machine-gunner can immediately administer “capital punishment” on any refractory prisoner.

      And our Vicar of Christ, who couldn’t mention the word Christ, in front of Congress, assails the US for the death penalty? Hypocrisy. Cowardice.

  14. If he smells like a leftist, talks like a leftist, and acts like a leftist, then he is a leftist.

  15. Maryanne Leonard says

    The Pope emphasizes the left side of the equation and underplays any views he holds on the right. Some ask, “Is the Pope communist?” And, “Is the Pope gay?” I ask why a Catholic pope seeks the acclaim of a fickle, superficial world. Our rock star pope downplays our (unpopular) traditional teachings and tries to seem hip, sensitive, and politically correct. Pope Francis is selling kindly old man, crinkly-eyed warmheartedness, together with politically correct stylin’, not traditional Catholic substance. Addressing Congress without once mentioning Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, he seems concerned about his own personal popularity. His everlasting smiles and grandfatherly “group hug” for the crowds seem offered up in exchange…

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