Does this Pope speak English? Serious question. He sure seems to be misquoted or misinterpreted a lot.
No, he knows very little English. He knows Italian (his family background is Italian) and he knows German from his studies.
He speaks some English, but something like this is written in either Spanish or Italian and then translated into English. Once upon a time, they used to write in Latin, and frankly, I think that’s better, because the translation was then going to be a little more standardized.
I suspect that the original in this case was probably Spanish, and what he said was “repartir los beneficios,” which would mean distribute or share the benefits. It seemed to me, when I read the whole statement, that it was actually carefully written precisely so it would NOT seem like Marxism, while at the same time urging governments to make sure that the citizens benefitted from wealth-creating activities (and the big problem in the developing world and increasingly in the US is that governments are really kelptocracies, and any money that goes into them stays in the bureaucracy or even in the personal bank accounts of the people at the top).
I think he should have been more direct and given examples. But on the whole, once I actually read the statement and not what the press said about it, my blood pressure went back to normal and I realized that it actually wasn’t a bad statement.