Liberal filmmaker and activist Michael Moore claimed this week that Pope Francis told him two weeks ago during a private meeting that capitalism is “a sin.”
Moore shared details of his brief conversation with the leader of the Catholic Church during an appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” Thursday evening. Moore told Meyers he had the chat with Francis during a weekly papal audience, when the pope asked to speak with the filmmaker “privately.”
During the conversation, Moore asked Francis, “Do you believe that an economic system that benefits the few, the wealthy at the expense of the many is a sin?” To which the pope reportedly replied, “Sí.”
“And I said, ‘So you believe capitalism, the kinda — the capitalism we have now is a sin?’” Moore recalled. “He goes, ‘Yes, it is.’ He said, ‘The poor must always come first.’”
The “Fahrenheit 11/9” documentarian said Francis then grabbed his arm and asked for his prayers. Moore said he reciprocated, requested the pope’s prayers. “No, you have to make more movies,” Moore said the pope quipped in response.
“He has a sense of humor,” Moore said.
While it’s not immediately clear whether Moore’s recollection of his conversation with Francis is entirely accurate, the pope has frequently rebuked income inequality and the “idolatry of money.”
In 2013, for example, he criticized “trickle-down economics,” describing the philosophy as a “crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”