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:

During the flight from Cuba to the United States (2015), Pope Francis responded to criticism that he is a Communist or insufficiently Catholic.
The Pope answered by telling a story of a cardinal who told him that a “very Catholic” woman came to him and asked if it was true that the Bible spoke of an Antichrist and an anti-pope:
‘But why ask me this question?’ asked the cardinal. ‘I’m sure that Pope Francis is the anti-pope.’ ‘Why do you say that?’ ‘Because he does not wear red shoes, which are historical.’
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!