News from Europe

German Cardinal considers Karl Marx as “a source of Catholic social teaching”

Cardinal Reinhard Marx has given an interview to the German Sunday newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on the occasion of the 200th birthday of the philosopher with whom he shares a surname: Karl Marx —the theoretical father of scientific socialism and inspiration of Communist regimes. In his interview, the cardinal — who is himself in the vanguard of progressive thought inside the Roman Catholic Church — pays tribute to the creator of Marxism.


“We are all on the shoulders of Karl Marx” he said. “Without him, there would be no Catholic social teaching.” According to the cardinal, Karl Marx showed that human rights remain incomplete without the material well-being of people, and he praised Marx for paying attention to the real conditions of the people.

This interview, together with another one published in the Rheinische Post was reported without critical comment in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, which summarised his thought thus: “Catholic social doctrine has a significant debt of gratitude towards the father of Marxist doctrine.”

At a glance, it is shocking that a cardinal of the Roman Church glorified Karl Marx and his ideas which, when put into practice, cost the lives of approximately one hundred million people… In this context, the words of Cardinal Marx can only scandalise their readers, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.


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