Every time we hear someone’s words, we interpret them in some fashion. The challenge is to listen and understand the person’s words in the spirit in which they were said (the context, the intentionality, the audience, etc).
The same applies when we hear our Holy Father, Pope Francis. There are those that tend to interpret him one way, others in other ways.
It is given that we needn’t always be in agreement with what one Pope may say (at least when he is not speaking dogmatically, check out the distinctions in the Catechism 888-892). We are still asked to listen and try to understand, under the light of the Holy Spirit, where God is leading His Church. As such, as Catholics, I believe the key is to always seek to interpret his words in the line and in the context of the Sacred Tradition and the texts of the magisterium that have preceded him.
Interestingly, it seems that certain critiques have reached Pope Francis’ ears and he has responded in the following manner:
The Pope’s Answer to Criticism That He is a Leftist
In publishing the video, Rome Reports reports the following:
As for whether or not I’m a communist: I am sure that I have not said anything more than what the Church’s social doctrine teaches.
I am following the Church. I do not believe I am mistaken about this. I believe I haven’t said anything that wasn’t in Church doctrine, in the social doctrine of the Church…maybe the impression of being a little more “of the left”has been given, but that would be a misinterpretation. My teaching about this, “Laudato Si,” economic imperialism, all of that, is the social doctrine of the Church. And if it is necessary for me to pray the Creed to prove it, I’m willing to do it…
I would love to hear your thoughts on this issue!