The liberal Jesuit publication America stresses Pope Francis has acknowledged that the teachings of the Catholic Church are consistent with criticism of capitalism.
America describes the scene aboard the Pope’s plane while enroute from Cuba to Washington, DC:
When asked by a reporter how he would respond to those who criticize him for his denunciations of the present economic system, the inequalities caused by that system, the destruction of the planet and the arms trade, and charge that the pope is not Catholic, or indeed a Communist, Francis answered with decisiveness and much humor.
“I don’t remember that I have said anything different to what’s in the Social Doctrine of the Church,” he stated. And as for not being a Catholic, he said with a smile, “I am ready to recite the creed!”
“I am certain that I didn’t say one thing more than wasn’t already in the doctrine of the church,” the Pope said.
America adds that Pope Francis, who is also a Jesuit, “went on to state firmly” that: “My doctrine on all this, on the ‘Laudato Si’ (the encyclical on ‘the common home’), on the economic imperialism, and all that, is the Church’s social doctrine.”
When an American journalist reported to the Pope that more than 50 dissidents had been arrested outside the nunciature in Cuba while attempting to meet with the Pope, Francis reportedly responded, “I don’t have any news that that has happened. I don’t have any news…I don’t know directly.”
Breitbart News reported that at least two dissidents said they had been invited to the event personally by the papal ambassador to Havana, but were immediately arrested upon attempting to walk to the Plaza. Rev. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, confirmed the invites, but told reporters he did not know why the dissidents had declined to attend.
According to America, Pope Francis said it was “very clear” from the beginning “that I was not going to give audiences (at the nunciature during the visit to Cuba).”
The Pope also said, however, that “from the nunciature” there had been “some calls to some people who are in the group of dissidents.”
“The nuncio was told,” reports America, “that Francis would greet them with pleasure outside the cathedral after the meeting with consecrated persons. That possibility existed, he added, and recalled that he had greeted sick people who were in wheelchairs, ‘but no one identified him/herself as a dissident.’”