Pope Condemns Atheism

Lack of belief 'has led to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice'

By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 30, 2007 3:20 PM CST

(Newser) – Pope Benedict issued a strong condemnation of atheism today and warned that advances in technology must be met with similar advancements in ethics. In his second encyclical, the pope said atheist ideologies have "led to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice," Reuters reports. "Man needs God," he wrote. "Otherwise he remains without hope."

The pope saved particular venom for Marxism, which he says created "a trail of appalling destruction" because of its view that people are merely economic pawns. He rejected the argument behind such ideologies of the 19th and 20th centuries, that man had to correct social injustices because God did not exist. Benedict also said that if technology is not guided by ethics, "it is not progress at all, but a threat for man."

Pope Benedict XVI spreads his arms during the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday Nov. 28, 2007. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Pope Benedict XVI spreads his arms during the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday Nov. 28, 2007. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)   (Associated Press)
In this photo released by the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano newspaper, Pope Benedict XVI signs his second encyclical document Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope) as Bishop Fernando Filioni, right, looks on, at the Vatican, Friday Nov. 30, 2007.  Benedict XVI strongly criticized modern-day atheism in the major document released Friday, saying...
In this photo released by the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano newspaper, Pope Benedict XVI signs his second encyclical document "Spe Salvi" (Saved by Hope) as Bishop Fernando Filioni, right, looks on,...   (Associated Press)
In this photo released by the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano newspaper, Pope Benedict XVI signs his second encyclical document Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope), at bottom, at the Vatican, Friday Nov. 30, 2007. Benedict XVI strongly criticized modern-day atheism in the major document released Friday, saying it had led to some...
In this photo released by the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano newspaper, Pope Benedict XVI signs his second encyclical document "Spe Salvi" (Saved by Hope), at bottom, at the Vatican, Friday Nov. 30, 2007....   (Associated Press)
A view of the text of the Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope) encyclical letter, signed by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican, Friday Nov. 30, 2007. Benedict XVI strongly criticized modern-day atheism in the major document released Friday, saying it had led to some of the greatest forms of cruelty...
A view of the text of the "Spe Salvi" (Saved by Hope) encyclical letter, signed by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican, Friday Nov. 30, 2007. Benedict XVI strongly criticized modern-day atheism in the major...   (Associated Press)
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