• Reporters Asked Pope Francis About Being Communist. Here’s What He Said.

    Aboard his flight from Cuba to the U.S. Tuesday, Pope Francis spoke to reporters and discussed accusations that he is too left-wing.

    Before his visit to the U.S., one Italian journalist remarked, “sectors of North American society were even asking themselves if the Pope was Catholic” and talking “about a communist Pope.” (RELATED: No, Pope Francis Didn’t Call Capitalism ‘The Dung Of The Devil’)

    In response, Francis recounted the story of a cardinal friend of his, who met a “very Catholic” woman. “I’m sure that Pope Francis is the anti-pope,” she told him — a false authority that some Catholics identify with the anti-Christ of the Bible.

    How did she reach this conclusion? “It’s because he doesn’t wear red shoes,” which most popes have worn as a sign of the office. (RELATED: Pope Francis’ New Accessory Is The Cross Of A Beheaded Iraqi Priest)

    And to the accusations of communism, Francis said that “I haven’t said anything more than what’s written in the social doctrine of the Church.” If there are mistakes in his teaching, the pope said, they are “an error of explanation,” not a flaw in the teaching itself.

    He joked that he could gladly clear up any misconceptions about his Catholic bona fides: “If necessary, I’ll recite the creed.”

    Francis landed in Washington Tuesday afternoon, and will be there until Thursday. He will then make stops in New York and Philadelphia before returning to Rome Sunday.

    Follow Ivan Plis on Twitter

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