The Communists Have Stolen Our Flag

a hand reaching down to rescue someone.Pope Francis is often accused of socialism or communism because he regularly expresses a profoundly biblical concern for the poor. I’m sympathetic, I’ve experienced it myself. The Bible makes some “radical” statements about providing for the poor and needy and minimizing social stratification. But anyone who proclaims these biblical injunctions quickly finds themselves accused of “class warfare” or labeled a socialist or communist (often by people who don’t seem to be familiar with the actual meaning of these words). Recently, Pope Francis did something I’ve long tried to do, he reversed the charges:

“I can only say that the communists have stolen our flag. The flag of the poor is Christian. Poverty is at the center of the Gospel … Communists say that all this is communism. Sure, twenty centuries later. So when they speak, one can say to them: ‘but then you are Christian’.” — Pope Francis

I suspect he’s fighting an uphill battle, but I wish him well in proclaiming the concern for the poor and needy that is truly a central component of the biblical witness and Christian faith.

Links:
The original quote comes from Reuters: http://goo.gl/VrwTfY
I would recommend Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig’s article at The Weekhttp://goo.gl/7orQOm