During the hour-long conversation with the Francis, who has made defence of the poor a major plank of his papacy, a reporter asked why he had hardly ever spoken about the problems of the "working, tax-paying" middle class.He then proceeded to follow with a whopper of an error;
He offered a rare papal mea culpa, thanking the reporter for his "good correction."
"You're right. It's an error of mine not to think about this," he said.
"The world is polarized. The middle class becomes smaller. The polarization between the rich and poor is big. This is true. And, perhaps this has led me to not take account of this (the problems of the middle class)," he said.Globally, the middle class has never been so large. Approximately two billion people have climbed out of sub-$1-a-day poverty in the last two decades. Mostly thanks to the abandonment of socialist economics in India and China. I.e., thank capitalism, not Liberation Theology.
Which brings up another of the Pope's gaffe's;
Francis said he "did not feel offended" when Bolivian President Evo Morales gave him a gift of a sculpture with the body of a crucified Jesus nailed to a hammer and sickle - the symbol of communism.What's a few million Catholics murdered under color of communism anyhow?
The sculpture was a replica of a creation by Jesuit priest Luis Espial Camp, an artist and poet who was a strong defender of miners' rights and was killed by a Bolivian right-wing paramilitary squad in 1980.
Francis said the sculpture should be seen as "protest art" and a product of its times, when some Roman Catholic priests were involved in forms of Liberation Theology that used Marxist political analysis to help the poor. Francis said he brought the gift back to the Vatican with him.