Several weeks back, Pope Francis was criticized for reportedly claiming "there is no Hell" -- a claim he did not deny -- and now his own newspaper at the Vatican, L'Osservatore Romano, has published an article that applauds German Cardinal Reinhard Marx for his praise of the founder of Communism, Karl Marx.
In the May 6 article, headlined Marx in controluce (Closer to Marx), Cardinal Reinhard Marx speaks proudly of Karl Marx, who wrote the Communist Manifesto, and whose teaching has been denounced by the Catholic Church and multiple Popes since the 19th century.
Karl Marx's 200th birthday was on May 5, a birthday that Cardinal Marx applauded in an interview last week and said "we should commemorate."
Nonetheless, as the respected Catholic blog "The Eponymous Flower" details and translates, "In yesterday's Sunday edition of the Italian Osservatore Romano, an initiative of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, President of the German Bishops' Conference and member of the C9 Cardinal Council, was benevolently published: the 'canonization' of Karl Marx."
The L'Osservatore Romano article states: "We are all on the shoulders of Karl Marx. That does not mean that he is a church father."
"This outrageous formulation reserved for former popes and church leaders means that Karl Marx is not a church father, but almost one," reports The Eponymous Flower. "These astonishingly unrealistic words by the German cardinal [Reinhard Marx] were printed without comment and above all without contradiction by the pope's daily newspaper. "
"The same applies to the acquittal of Karl Marx from any responsibility for the million-fold murder committed in his name by communists and socialists of all stripes in the last 170 years since the publication of the Communist Manifesto in 1848," stated the blog.
L'Osservatore Romano quotes Cardinal Marx, "If one cannot, historically, separate a thinker from what others have done later in his name, it is true, but also true, that he [Karl Marx] cannot be blamed for everything that was committed by his theories in the gulag of Stalin."
The blog also quotes Pope Francis who, in a June 29, 2014 interview with Il Messaggero, said, "The Communists stole the flag from us. The banner of the poor is Christian."
The Black Book of Communism, published by Harvard University Press, documents that at least 100 million people were killed by communism in the 20th century, including 30 million in the Soviet Union, 65 million in Red China, and about 2.5 million in Cambodia. Others were killed in North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, and Eastern Europe.
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."