Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Pope Denounces Capitalism and Marxism

This is part of an article from the New York Times. You can read the whole article here.


APARECIDA, Brazil, May 13
In a major speech on Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI condemned capitalism and Marxism as “systems that marginalize God.”

Speaking to Latin American bishops here for a conference on the church’s direction for the next decade, the pope also condemned abortion and contraception and laws that permit them. Such laws, he said, are “threatening the future of peoples.”

“Just structures are,” he said, “an indispensable condition for a just society, but they neither rise nor function without a moral consensus in society on fundamental values.”
“Where God is absent — God with the human face of Jesus Christ — these values fail to show themselves with their full force: nor does a consensus arise concerning them,” he said.
“I do not mean that nonbelievers cannot live a lofty and exemplary morality; I am only saying that a society in which God is absent will not find the necessary consensus on moral values or the strength to live according to the model of these values."

There was equal fire against Marxism and Capitalism. By focusing solely on material concerns, he said, they “falsify the notion of reality by detaching it from the foundational and decisive reality which is God.”
“Both Capitalism and Marxism promised to point out the path for the creation of just structures, and they declared that these, once established, would function by themselves,” he said. “And this ideological promise has proven false.”
Marxism, he said, left “a sad heritage of economic and ecological destruction.
Capitalism, he said, has failed to bridge the “distance between rich and poor” and is “giving rise to a worrying degradation of personal dignity through drugs, alcohol and deceptive illusions of happiness.”

But on the whole his speech covered ground familiar to those who followed Cardinal Ratzinger’s long career as theologian and top aide to his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.






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