The Catholic Church is a pre-Reformation dinosaur and has fumbled the ball on nearly every issue of modernity over many centuries. The Pope’s statements are a laughing stock in his swift retreat on these issues. In terms of Protestant theology the Pope’s authority is null and void, and can’t be considered to legislate on issues of communism.
The Pope’s statement, what to say of his ultra-conservative critics are ‘fighting words’ in the real sense and any Protestant Communist Church will likely have to challenge such ‘fighting words’ with a prolonged fight, hopefully at the drawing board level.
Let us grant the dangers of combining religion and ideology: the combination of Ayn Rand and Xtianity now underway is the clear response to those who would charge radical leftism braided with Xtianity. The toxic combination will not be challenged by the morgue of the Popes and their cardinals.
The record of the Reformation is a clear ‘dialectic’ of opposites mangled from the right as the marriage of ‘calvinism’ and capitalism liquidated the real radicals like Munzer.
Concern for the poor and religion has been pretty well analyzed on the historical ‘marxist’ plane, and these kinds of hypocritical verbiage, mostly to pacify a chauvinist far-right catholicism, are dead letter statements from the Vatican mummies.
Let us grant that a communist Xtianity could run the risk of a kind of violation of a church and state separation of powers. But the issue, as with the gospel missions serving the poor today, has a starting point that points to a vigorous from of ‘social communism’ that is short of the fully political.
I think the world is owed the future reborn of the once liquidated radical ‘communism’ of the early Reformation.
In any case the authority of the popes was finished after the wars of the Counterreformation. The Pope must acknowledge his non-authority at this point, or risk further wars, no? The issue of the Papal authority is thus a nullity.
The Catholic Church is basically a dead letter Protestant Church, with the Pope’s hot line to God being a pretty ludicrous fossil.