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Radio host Rush Limbaugh

Radio giant Rush Limbaugh is scorching the leader of the Roman Catholic Church for criticizing unfettered capitalism, saying, “This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope.”

“You know the pope, Pope Francis has issued an official papal proclamation, and it’s sad,” Limbaugh said on his national broadcast Wednesday. “It’s actually unbelievable. It’s sad because this pope makes it very clear he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism and so forth.”

“I’m not Catholic,” Limbaugh added, “but up until this I admired the man.”

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In the 84-page document titled “Evangelii Gaudium,” which was released Tuesday, Pope Francis called upon politicians to provide “dignified work, education and health care” to all citizens.

“The commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life,” wrote the pope. “Today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.”

Noting that he had visited the Vatican “numerous times,” Limbaugh observed wryly: “Believe me, it wouldn’t exist without tons of money. Somebody has either written this for [the pope] or gotten to him. This is pure Marxism.”

Pope Francis

The radio host commented on the pope’s statements while reading excerpts from the document. Regarding Francis’ call on governments to increase their job creation efforts, Limbaugh countered: “No government can create jobs. All they can do is hamper job creation.”

The pope also exhorted the rich to share their wealth with the poor, but, Limbaugh noted, Americans are already among the world’s most generous charitable donors, and beside that, “charity cannot compete with capitalism when it comes to bringing people out of poverty.”

Limbaugh added that an “honest objective look at the history of the United States is all you need to understand true capitalism is all about,” calling the pope’s critique of capitalism “totally, dramatically, embarrassing wrong.”

The radio host returned after a commercial break with additional thoughts, reminding listeners that one of the pope’s predecessors, John Paul II, is widely credited with helping President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher defeat Soviet-sponsored communism back in the 1980s.

“There has been a longstanding tension between the church and communism,” Limbaugh observed. “That’s what makes this to me really remarkable unfettered anti-capitalist dictate. This would have been unthinkable for a pope to believe or say just a few years ago.”

Limbaugh noted that the Catholic Church in the United States has a $170 billion budget. It’s also “the largest landowner in Manhattan.”

“They have a lot of money,” Limbaugh said. “They wouldn’t be able to reach out the way they do without a lot of money.”

See the video trailer for “The Last Pope?” DVD:

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