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Is the Pope a Communist?

Pope Francis's critique of capitalism has made him an icon for the left and prompted claims that he is a communist. Edward Stourton explores the origins of his radical message.

Pope Francis' critique of modern economics has made him an icon for the Left and prompted claims that he is a Communist. The leader of 1.2 billion Catholics has called capitalism, at best, a source of inequality and, at worst, a killer.

Edward Stourton examines the Pope's critique of the free market system and explores the origins of his thinking in Latin America and in Catholic Social Teaching. Is Pope Francis, as his critics claim, dragging his church to the Left and promoting a Marxist branch of liberation theology? And what does his insistence on seeing the world through the eyes of the poor mean for modern notions of charity?

We hear from the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols; corporate lawyer turned Catholic priest, Fr Augusto Zampini Davies; Chief Economist at The Heritage Foundation (a free market think tank based in Washington), Stephen Moore; Professor or Finance, Public Policy and Ethics at St Mary's University, Twickenham and Programme Director at the Institute for Economic Affairs, Philip Booth; Labour Peer Maurice Glasman; and Austen Ivereigh, author of The Great Reformer - Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope.

Producer: Helen Grady

Photo Credit: Tim Widden.

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30 minutes

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