Pope: Marxism, Capitalism Hold Latin America Back

Also, contraception and secularism
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2007 6:58 AM CDT
An aerial view shows people attending a mass by Pope Benedict XVI at the Aparecida Basilica in Aparecida, Brazil, on Sunday, May 13, 2007. (AP Photo/Juca Varella, Agencia Estado)   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Pope Benedict XVI blamed both capitalism and Marxism for Latin America's problems in a speech yesterday in Brazil, the world's most Catholic nation. Benedict blamed Marxism for "a painful destruction of the human spirit," but also worried that capitalism gives rise to "degradation of personal dignity through drugs, alcohol and deceptive illusions of happiness."

The Pope called for a stronger Catholic voice in politics and said legislation permitting abortion and contraception threatens the strength of families. He urged bishops to fight the erosion of Catholicism, which he blamed on the rise of "secularism, hedonism, indifferentism and proselytism by numerous sects, animist religions and new pseudo-religious phenomena,"