(LifeSiteNews) — Libertarian economist Javier Milei says he is Catholic. But that didn’t stop him from telling Tucker Carlson last week that he believes Pope Francis has a soft spot for tyrannical world leaders.
“He has an affinity for murderous communists. He’s lenient to the entire left even when they are true criminals,” he exclaimed.
Milei, 52, is currently the leading candidate for the presidency of Argentina, Pope Francis’s native country. He sat down for a wide-ranging conversation with Carlson for his “Tucker on X” program last week. Among other topics, he spoke about Donald Trump, socialism, and abortion, which he called “murder.”
Ep. 24 Argentina’s next president could be Javier Milei. Who is he? We traveled to Buenos Aires to speak with him and find out. pic.twitter.com/4WwTZYoWHs
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) September 14, 2023
“The Pope plays politics. The Pope plays politics,” Milei insisted to a baffled-looking Carlson, who is not Catholic. “He has a strong political influence. And he has shown a great affinity for dictators such as Castro and Maduro.”
Carlson has alleged that Western elites are profiting from the 124% inflation rate that is currently crippling Argentina’s economy, and that they are also seeking to prevent Milei, a self-described “anarcho capitalist,” from coming to power when elections are held in October.
Milei often touts his Catholicism publicly, but also studies the Torah, visits with Rabbis, and has what has been described as a “fascination” with Judaism. He also wants to move Argentina’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Milei has also formerly described himself as a “tantric sex coach.”
Pope Francis and communism
While it is difficult to pinpoint what exactly Milei is referring to when he says Francis possesses an “affinity for dictators,” the pontiff did notably sidestep human rights abuses while visiting Raul Castro in Cuba in 2015. He also met with anti-Catholic revolutionary and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. He did not encourage him to convert to Catholicism, but instead spoke about “the environment.”
LifeSite has documented Francis’s concerning remarks and actions regarding communism since his elevation to the papacy. In 2014, Francis said “communists are closet Christians.” Two years later, he told atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfaro that communists “think like Christians.” In 2015, Francis accepted a communist hammer and sickle with Christ crucified on the hammer from Bolivian President Eva Morales. Now-deceased American Catholic journalist George Neymayer wrote a book on the subject in 2017, observing at the time that Francis “tends to speak of communism in benign terms.”
Earlier this week, Francis appeared via video stream for a conversation with pro-abortion former U.S. President Bill Clinton at a Clinton Global Initiative event in New York City. During his remarks, Francis failed to mention the name of Jesus and avoided speaking about abortion. Rather, he urged viewers to “act on climate change before it is too late.”
Milei’s remarks about the pontiff going easy on communist leaders are nothing new. In a 2018 post on X (formerly Twitter), Miliei accused Francis of promoting communism “around the world.” He also said Francis represents “the evil one” inside the “House of God.”
Reuters reported earlier this month that priests in Argentina are pushing back against Milei insulting Francis. The outlet spoke to Buenos Aires clergyman Rev. Lorenzo “Toto” De Vedia. “[Milei] has called Pope Francis insults like an ‘imbecile’ and worse things,” De Vedia stated. “That is why we are having this [Mass] today.”
Milei additionally told Carlson he opposes Pope Francis’s economic views.