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Marxism and capitalism have both failed says Pope


Neither Marxist nor capitalist systems can offer hope to Latin America, Pope Benedict XVI has told the continent’s Roman Catholic bishops, as he urged them to make greater efforts to build up the Church.

"Both Marxist and capitalist systems … falsify the notion of reality by detaching it from the foundational and decisive reality which is God," Pope Benedict said in an opening address to the fifth general conference of bishops from Latin America and the Caribbean.

He said the "ideological promise" of Marxism and capitalism to promote a communal morality had been proved wrong. "The facts have clearly demonstrated it," asserted the pontiff in his 13 May address at Aparecida, near Sao Paulo, on the last leg of a five-day visit to Brazil.

Speaking of the challenges facing Latin America, Pope Benedict said that both Marxist and capitalist systems had erred in the 20th century by detaching social, economic and political problems from faith in God.

"The Marxist system, where it found its way into government, not only left a sad heritage of economic and ecological destruction but also a painful destruction of the human spirit," said Benedict. "And we can also see the same thing happening in the West, where the distance between rich and poor is growing constantly, and giving rise to a worrying degradation of personal dignity through drugs, alcohol and deceptive illusions of happiness."

Meanwhile, globalisation, though it offers some benefits to humanity, "also undoubtedly brings with it the risk of vast monopolies, and of treating profit as the supreme value", said the Pope.

Benedict arrived in Brazil on 9 May. His visit included three days in Sao Paulo, one of the most crowded cities in the world, where crowds welcomed him by chanting "Bento, Bento", the Pope’s name in Portuguese.

(c) Ecumenical News International