Rumor: Chris Matthews criticized by now-Pope Francis in interview that never aired

An interview between Chris Matthews and then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio reportedly never aired on TV after Bergoglio called Matthews a socialist.


Little evidence supports this rumor with some sites calling it a hoax

A transcript of an alleged interview between Chris Matthews and then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who is now Pope Francis, has created buzz with some saying the interview never aired.

The Catholic diocese of Salford published the interview on their website just before Bergoglio became Pope Francis. Twitter users soon began criticizing the pope for saying, according to the interview transcript, that socialism causes misery and America is heading towards a form of communism.


The transcript has also been picked up by Catholic sites, including DFW Catholic and posted on message boards.

The Transcript

The transcript begins with this introduction: The following is a transcript of an interview between an atheist American journalist and then-Cardinal Bergolio [says the Salford website].

It is clear why the interview was never broadcast. In it, Cardinal Bergoglio makes mincemeat of the typical leftist interview techniques of so many people in the broadcast media.

Excerpts from supposed interview: 

Reporter: So your solution to poverty is to change the nature of politics? 

Bergoglio: Please feel free to broadcast this; I don’t want to be pope. Friend, you are a socialist and your friends are socialists. And you are the reason for 70 years of misery in Russia and Europe now is seizing in pain from your policies. You believe in the redistribution of wealth and it makes entire populations poor. You want to nationalize everything and bring every human endeavor under your control. You destroy a man's incentive to take care of his very own family, a crime against nature and nature’s God. You want social control over populations and incrementally you are making everything against the law. Together this ideology creates more poverty today than all the corporations you vilify have in the history of man. 

Reporter: I’ve never heard such from a Cardinal. I’m not sure if you are here to help yourself or disqualify yourself. 

Bergoglio: Please air this interview. People being dominated by socialists need to know we don’t all have to be poor. Some poverty is part of our being cast out of the Garden of Eden.

Just a prank?

Snopes considers the transcript and rumors fake. According to the website, the "atheist-American journalist" was supposed to finger Matthews as the person who conducted the interview. However, Matthews was not set to interview any of the men in line for papacy and called the election of Cardinal Bergoglio a "big surprise."

Snopes reports that the transcript was just a prank and was removed after the diocese could not verify a source.

A blogger from The Telegraph also expresses his doubt and confirms that the original link to the transcript died soon after making waves online.



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