Editor’s note: Robert Ellsberg is the publisher of Orbis Books and the author of several books, including “All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time.” He is the son of Daniel Ellsberg.
(CNN) — Radio personality Rush Limbaugh declared himself bewildered by recent papal statements “about the utter evils of capitalism.” In his broadcast, titled “It’s Sad How Wrong Pope Francis Is (Unless It’s a Deliberate Mistranslation by Leftists),” Limbaugh said the remarks add up to “just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope.” This would indeed be remarkable, if true. Is it?
Limbaugh is referring to the new apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium,” or “The Joy of the Gospel,” in which Pope Francis lays out his vision for the church’s proclamation of the gospel.
For Catholics, enthusiastic about the Pope’s unguarded style, the document offers a refreshing departure from the traditional voice: “There are Christians whose lives seem like Lent without Easter,” the Pope laments. “I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber.” He decries a kind of “spiritual worldliness” that “hides behind the appearance of piety,” warns against “sourpusses” who would substitute love of Jesus Christ with a love of the church, and rejects a defeatist “tomb psychology” that would transform Christians into “mummies in a museum.”…