It seems Pope Francis can count the most powerful person in the world among his legions of fans.
In an address laying out his vision for economic reform to address growing inequality, President Barack Obama gave a nod to Pope Francis:
“Some of you may have seen this last week. The pope spoke about this at eloquent length. ‘How can it be,’ he wrote, ‘that it’s not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure but it is when the stock market loses two points?’ This increasing inequality is most pronounced in our country, and it challenges the very essence of who we are as a people.”
The pope’s remarks on the economy have caused a stir both within and outside the Catholic Church. Samuel Gregg, author of Tea Party Catholic and program director at the libertarian Acton Institute, which is led by a Catholic priest, wrote at the National Review that “a number of claims made by this document and some of the assumptions underlying those statements are rather questionable.” Rush Limbaugh called the pope’s statements “pure Marxism.”
Earlier this year, Obama told CNBC that he was “hugely impressed” with Pope Francis, noting his “Incredible humility, incredible sense of empathy to the least of these, to the poor.”