Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German Bishop's Conference and among the nine closest advisers to Pope Francis, applauded the teachings of Communist Karl Marx, whose 200th birthday occurs on May 5, claiming that the Communist Manifesto "impressed" him, helped to shape Catholic social doctrine, and was in no way responsible for the Communist atrocities and class-genocide committed by Marx's followers over the last 100-plus years.
Marxist regimes, starting with the Soviet Union in 1917 and Red China in 1949, have killed more than 100 million people worldwide for political and class reasons, all justified on the teachings of Karl Marx (1818-1883) and his co-author and financial backer Friederich Engels (1820-1895). The Catholic Church has repeatedly condemned Communism, with one of the earliest denunciations pronounced by Pope Pius IX in 1849.
Despite the Catholic Church's teaching against Communism, a utopian scheme that was Karl Marx's sole objective in life, Cardinal Reinhard Marx told the magazine Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszitung, as translated and reported in Katholisch.de, that the Communist Manifesto "impressed" him and that "without Karl Marx there would be no Catholic social teaching."
The German cardinal criticized capitalism, claiming there are "enormous social inequalities and ecological damage that capitalist dynamics are answerable to," and adding that any improvements are "not an achievement of capitalism but the result of a struggle against these excesses." Communist China and the predominantly socialist India are two of the most polluted countries in the world, according to the World Health Organization; the United States and Western Europe are among the least polluted nations in the world.
Thanks to Karl Marx, said the Cardinal, the world knows that the "market is not as innocent as it appears in the textbook of economists, behind which are powerful interests."
As for the Communist atrocities and class-genocide committed by Karl Marx's disciples, such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Castro, Cardinal Marx told the magazine that there was no "direct connection" between Karl Marx and those crimes. There is "totalitarian" thought in Marx's work, but you can't draw a clear line from Marx to the Gulag, said the cardinal, as reported in Katholisch.de.
As for Karl Marx's May 5 birthday, Cardinal Reinhard Marx said there was no reason for him "as a Catholic bishop" to celebrate it, but it is something "we should commemorate."
In his 1937 encyclical letter "On Atheistic Communism," Pope Pius XI said, "See to it, Venerable Brethren, that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived! Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever.
"Those who permit themselves to be deceived into lending their aid towards the triumph of Communism in their own country, will be the first to fall victims of their error. And the greater the antiquity and grandeur of the Christian civilization in the regions where Communism successfully penetrates, so much more devastating will be the hatred displayed by the godless."