"Tell Rush Limbaugh: We Support Pope Francis!" urges a petition which has already garnered almost 4,000 signatures on the website of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.

Catholics and non-Catholics alike were infuriated by Limbaugh's comments about Pope Francis on his radio show on Nov. 27, as the Pontiff has captured the hearts of many worldwide.

On the show, Limbaugh said that the pope "doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism," and speculated that his latest apostolic exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium," was overtly influenced by others who have "gotten to him." He claimed the document was "pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope."

He's not the only political conservative to take a dig at the pope and face the ire of his many fans. Sarah Palin publicly apologized a few weeks ago for saying she was taken aback by some of his "liberal" statements, and was unsure that she could trust media reports about him.

Reza Aslan, a religious scholar and author of "Zealot: The Life And Times of Jesus of Nazareth," succinctly responded to Limbaugh's comments by saying in the Washington Post, "Somebody did get to Pope Francis. It was Jesus."

He also cited Palin, writing, “These two paragons of the far right – both of whom regularly invoke the teachings of Jesus to bolster their own political views – have suddenly turned their backs on the man whose actual job description is to speak for Jesus."

In response to Limbaugh's comments, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good started a petition, writing:

We are disturbed by Rush Limbaugh's incendiary comments last Wednesday, November 27th about Pope Francis and are joining together with Catholics and other allies throughout the nation to support the Holy Father. To call the Francis a proponent of "pure marxism" is both mean spirited and naive. Francis's critique of unrestrained capitalism is in line with the Church's social teaching. His particular criticism of "trickle down economics" strengthens what Church authorities have said for decades: any economic system which deprives the poor of their dignity has no place within a just society.

Contrary to what Mr. Limbaugh suggests, the Catholic Church isn't built on money, but on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.

We call on Mr. Limbaugh to apologize and retract his remarks. We urge other Church organizations and leaders--both ordained and lay--to also condemn Mr. Limbaugh's comments.

We proudly stand with Pope Francis as he provides prophetic leadership for the Catholic Church and the entire world.

They have already surpassed their goal of 1,000 signatures fourfold.

Signer Thomas Hofstad wrote, "I am not Catholic, yet this offends me. The Pope is a man of great honor and compassion. I cant say this about Rush L.," and Vicki Goux said, "I have the MOST respect for your new Pope but I’m not a Catholic. He is amazing and deserves to be treated with respect."

See the petition here

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