Pope Francis calls conservatism a ‘suicidal attitude’ by one ‘who clings to something’

Pope Francis, a figure of global influence, has reinforced a label that some critics have affixed to him due to his political inclinations — Pope Karl, as in Karl Marx.

In a forthcoming interview with “60 Minutes,” Pope Francis will echo former President Barack Obama’s sentiments, both taking a critical stance towards conservative Americans.

“Conservative is one who clings to something and does not want to see beyond that. It is a suicidal attitude,” the pope told CBS News anchor Nora O’Donnell. “Because one thing is to take tradition into account, to consider situations from the past, but quite another is to be closed up inside a dogmatic box.”

The irony in such a close-minded statement is off the charts, as the Holy See targets those who share a different political belief than he does.

In 2008, while speaking at a San Francisco fundraiser, Obama infamously said something very similar about traditional white Americans in rural settings.

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them,” he said. “They fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.”

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations,” Obama continued.

CBS touted the segment as “the first time a pope has given an in-depth, one-on-one interview to a U.S. broadcast network.” In a press release, CBS said the pope “spoke candidly with O’Donnell about the wars in Israel and Gaza, Ukraine, and the migration crises around the world and on the U.S. southern border.”

And his “deep commitment to inclusivity.”

“The 87-year-old, Argentinian-born pope – the first named Francis and first from the Americas – is known for his dedication to the poor and marginalized, and for being the most unconventional head of the Church in recent memory,” the network said.

“The wide-ranging conversation also touches upon the Church’s handling of its own sexual abuse scandals; Francis’ deep commitment to inclusiveness within the Church; the backlash against his papacy from certain corners of U.S. Catholicism; and an exploration of his thinking on surrogate parenthood,” CBS added.

The interview was conducted on April 24, will air as part of “60 Minutes” on Sunday, May 19.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses from social media users who disagree with Pope Karl Francis, as seen on X:

Tom Tillison

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