Pope Francis has said he aims to express the social doctrine of the Church, not the views of partisan political philosophies, suggesting it is reductionistic to say otherwise. “I don't know if the Pope is Social Democratic or not,” he told a French reporter during an in-flight conference Tuesday, who had mentioned the ideology popular among socialists in Europe. “I don't dare qualify myself on one side or another.” His comments came in response to a French reporter who asked if the Pope’s words before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France Nov. 25 “could be heard as political words” which “could be compared to a Social-Democratic sentiment.” The reporter apparently referred to comments about the dangers of multi-national interests weakening the power of democratic nations for the sake of economic uniformity. “Can we say that you might be a Social-Democratic Pope?” the reporter asked. “This is a reductionism!” the Pope replied, joking that the question’s labeling “makes me feel like I’m part of an insect collection: 'This one is a social-democratic insect'." The Pope said he does not identify with any one side or label on such matters, pointing instead to “the message that comes from the Gospel, from which the social doctrine of the Church has been taken.” “In this concretely, and in other social or political things that I expressed, I have not detached myself from the social doctrine of the Church, no? And, the social doctrine of the Church comes from the Gospel and of the Christian tradition.” Pope Francis thanked he reporter for the question, saying “you made me laugh.”
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