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Add another statement by Pope Francis that may sound a little too liberal to Sarah Palin. Speaking to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other UN executives Friday, Francis offered an economic vision for the world consistent with his previous statements about the global economy — and horrifying to American conservatives.

Most notably, Francis called for the “legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society.”

Addressing executives who oversee the UN’s network of humanitarian offices, Francis reflected on the UN’s sustainable development goalsAs he has in the past, the pontiff called for an end to the “structural causes” of poverty by challenging economic norms. 

“Future sustainable development goals must therefore be formulated and carried out with generosity and courage, so that they can have a real impact on the structural causes of poverty and hunger, attain more substantial results in protecting the environment, ensure dignified and productive labor for all, and provide appropriate protection for the family, which is an essential element in sustainable human and social development,” the pope said, as quoted by Vatican Radio.

Within a matter of hours, right-wing pundits pounced on the comments. Luckily, Rush Limbaugh was able to properly explain the complex Catholic principle of subsidiarity and charity to the “Marxist” pope, as termed by the radio host.

“The pope is demanding the United Nations somehow use its influence to get member states to redistribute wealth. That’s Marxism. That’s socialism,” the right-wing blowhard said Friday. “That’s not charity. The church is the place where that kind of thing, charity, should come from. And he is in charge of that.”

Limbaugh, it seems, may be getting his understanding of Catholic social teaching from the Ayn Rand-inspired Paul Ryan (R-WI). In fact, he is a great admirer of Ryan’s.

“We have a guy on the ticket now who knows how to answer the playbook ideologically,” Limbaugh said of the supposed budget wonk after he was tapped as Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012. ” This is why I’m a little jazzed by this. There is a conservative on the ticket — a proud, bold, unashamed, unapologetic conservative. And not just a ‘fiscal’ conservative, a small-government conservative. Not all fiscal conservatives equal small-government conservatives. This guy is a small-government conservative.”

Photo: thierry ehrmann via Flickr

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