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Home English Pope says he's not Communist, just following Gospel

Pope says he's not Communist, just following Gospel


Vatican City, October 28 - Pope Francis said
Tuesday he was not a Communist as some admirers and critics have
suggested but simply following Jesus's Gospel call to love the
Francis said had been called "a Communist" for speaking of
"land, work and housing" but "love for the poor is at the centre
of the Gospel" and the Church's social doctrine.
The pontiff also spoke out in defence of workers' rights,
calling on grass-roots movements to "keep up the fight".
"It does us all good," Francis said.
"Let's say together with our heart: no family without a
roof, no peasant farmer without land, no worker without rights,
no person without dignified labour!" the pope added.
Grass-roots movements "express the urgent need to
revitalise our democracies, which are often held hostage by
numerous factors", Francis said.
It is "impossible" to imagine "a future for a society
without the 'protagonistic' participation of the great majority"
of people, the pope added.
Francis urged an end to "paternalistic welfarism" as a
condition for peace and justice and called for the creation of
"new forms of participation that include the grass-roots
movements" and their "stream of moral energy".
Since his election on March 13, 2013, the Argentine-born
Francis has captured the imagination of billions of people with
his simple, folksy style, happy smile, and his willingness to
speak out on concrete issues of poverty, social justice and
human rights.
The much-photographed pontiff has been recorded washing the
feet of juvenile convicts, including young men, women, Muslims
and Catholics; and embracing a man with a deformed face who
braved the crowds that throng St. Peter's Square these days to
see the former archbishop of Buenos Aires.
Francis was named Time magazine's Person of the Year for
2013 for forceful moves to re-energize the Catholic Church,
reform its management, widen its appeal, focus on social rather
than doctrinal issues, and renew a drive against clerical sex
"He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a
church of healing," Time said on its cover, dubbing Francis "the
people's pope" who it says has already become a "superstar".
Rolling Stone magazine has also put the 77-year-old Francis
on its cover, saying "the times they are a-changing" amid
Francis's "gentle revolution".
The pontiff also appeared on the cover of The Advocate, an
American magazine focusing on gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender issues.
Francis, who has forcefully rejected the superstar label -
as well as a string of Pope-as-Superman frescoes by street
artists - has also won converts for his reform plans for the
Vatican Bank and willingness to accept individuals whose
lifestyles have traditionally been condemned by the Church.
"He is quoted saying of women who consider abortion because
of poverty or rape, 'who can remain unmoved before such painful
situations'?" noted Time magazine.
Of gay people, he said, "If a homosexual person is of good
will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge".
A recent synod on the family in the Vatican was viewed with
hope by those expecting it might approve Francis's liberal
But in the end it only obtained a simple majority - not the
two-thirds required to change stances - on accepting gays and
giving sacraments to divorced and remarried Catholics.

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