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Alex Patton: Rush Limbaugh owes the Pope an apology

 It is always dangerous to discuss politics or religion on the Internet. When you combine the two, you can get in real trouble.

As in the case with Rush Limbaugh’s recent anti-Pope tirade.  It was based on either an amateur mistake or a false premise. Regardless, Limbaugh put false words into the Pope’s mouth seemingly so that he could make a political point.

Rush is wrong, and he should apologize to the Pope.

This piece is not any attempt to be holier than thou.  I admit that while I’m a practicing Catholic, I’m a flawed individual who tries to strengthen his relationship with God, Christ and his teachings.  I fail frequently.

I simply like this Pope.  I like Francis’ style and think the GOP (and others) can learn a lot from this Pontiff, if we take the time to quiet down and truly listen.

However, it can be difficult to listen when the Pope’s words are taken out of context and so gleefully used for political spin.

Last week in the midst of Black Friday hubbub, the Pope released his first “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel), a 50,000-word statement that calls for church reform and addresses a myriad of issues.  It is a remarkable document that ranges from money to the role of women in the Church.

The document was the genesis of Rush’s on-air tirade subsequently posted on his website: It’s sad how wrong Pope Francis is (unless it’s a deliberate mistranslation by leftists.)

Referring to the Evangelli Gaudium, Rush said, “the Pope here has now gone beyond Catholicism here, and this is pure political.  ….  Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as ‘a new tyranny’” (emphasis mine)

Rush then uses his false premise to fire up his listeners.  The problem is, Pope Francis never said or wrote any of what Rush attributes to him.

In fact, if you do a text search of the document, you will not find the word “capitalism” used a single time.  Not once.  

In fact, what the Pope is communicating, in my opinion, is that we must curb our deification of markets and the idolatry of money.

The Pope is explicitly warning those who place free markets above everything else that it may be time for a tune-up.

When you read the words of the Pope, it is clear that he is NOT critiquing capitalism per se, but rather human ideologies and how humans react to markets.

It’s sad how wrong Rush Limbaugh is (unless he is attempting to score political points with his listeners).   He owes Pope Francis an apology.

You can follow Pope Francis on Twitter!

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