PopeWatch: Marxism

Cardinal Reinhard Marx hearts Karl Marx:


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. 

Go here to read the rest.   The Cardinal understands Marx as well as he understands the teachings of the Church.

Karl Marx was a hard core advocate of terror.  The quotations from his works and letters on this point are legion.  Here is a typical statement he made in 1850 in an address to the Communist League:

“[The working class] must act in such a manner that the revolutionary excitement does not collapse immediately after the victory.  On the contrary, they must maintain it as long as possible.  Far from opposing so-called excesses, such as sacrificing to popular revenge of hated individuals or public buildings to which hateful memories are attached, such deeds must not only be tolerated, but their direction must be taken in hand, for examples’ sake.”

From the same address:

To be able forcefully and threateningly to oppose this party, whose betrayal of the workers will begin with the very first hour of victory, the workers must be armed and organized. The whole proletariat must be armed at once with muskets, rifles, cannon and ammunition, and the revival of the old-style citizens’ militia, directed against the workers, must be opposed. Where the formation of this militia cannot be prevented, the workers must try to organize themselves independently as a proletarian guard, with elected leaders and with their own elected general staff; they must try to place themselves not under the orders of the state authority but of the revolutionary local councils set up by the workers. Where the workers are employed by the state, they must arm and organize themselves into special corps with elected leaders, or as a part of the proletarian guard. Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary. The destruction of the bourgeois democrats’ influence over the workers, and the enforcement of conditions which will compromise the rule of bourgeois democracy, which is for the moment inevitable, and make it as difficult as possible – these are the main points which the proletariat and therefore the League must keep in mind during and after the approaching uprising.

Nothing done by the Communist states that claimed Marx as their ideological father in regard to the suppression of adversaries and the use of mass terror to remain in power cannot find full warrant in the works of Marx.

Our Church is currently led by fools and worse.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. The only way Marxism helped shape Catholic social teaching was the Church’s necessary condemnation of it in response.

  2. We are led by worse than fools. These are evil men, pure and simple. The only mystery is why JP2 elevated this degenerate to bishop, and Benedict elevated him to cardinal. Whatever the reason was, the flock is left to suffer from these wolves in shephard’s clothing.

  3. True F7 and notice the silence of the overwhelming mass of Cardinals and Bishops. At best they are cowardly careerists who don’t really give a damn about the Laity they are purportedly the shepherds of.

  4. Dear Hearts,

    May 5 is my sainted mother’s birthday.

    Dr. Keynes didn’t think highly of Marxism. He called it as economic theory, “illogical” and “dull.” St. Augustine said government without justice is “organized brigandage.” That is all we need to know about it.

    In conclusion, top-down, government/GSE interferences/interventions, command/control, central planning economics do not work. Ergo, everything the left touches turns to garbage. See Venezuela.

  5. Marxist victims were stacked like cord wood over the last century, and what we hear is “it hasn’t been tried”.

  6. Silence from the Vatican is agreement. There can be no other inference. Bergoglio must completely denounce these idiotic comments or be understood tacitly to admit he is a Marxist sympathizer, at least.

  7. Cardinal Marx, no relation to Karl I am sure, should step off his gold plated soap box and put authentic Marxism into practice within his own person. And this he can do quite easily. If Marxism is intrinsic to Catholic social doctrine as he believes, he should immediately cease taking the Kirchensteuer and his annual salary. Like St. Francis, he could renounce all of his wealth, and as a living witness of how worthy and organically fomenting the true Marxist spirit must be in the working class, he could rely exclusively on donations spawned from the pervasive, always dependable and perennial sentiments that are certainly imbedded in authentic Communist ideologies which will suddenly and spontaneously flow from the faithful to care for his personal, material needs.

    Like St. Francis, he can give a bold witness to his beliefs. Of course, there would be one significant issue with this approach, St. Francis gave up all materiality for the sake of Jesus Christ and the Gospel, and displayed heroic virtue, and Cardinal Marx would be giving it up for the sake of Karl, and only display the folly of his tenets. After many cold and hungry nights, the Cardinal would realize that abandoning God’s law of design based on Truth for that of a fanatic ego maniac, is a terrible life strategy. Karl, with his view of religion as “an opiate,” was not all that fond of clerics either, so Cardinal Marx should seriously reconsider his day job.

    The hypocrisy of the liberal German Bishops, who took in $7 billion last year via a forced government tax, and who work openly to upend Catholic truth with situation ethics, are the new Pharisees. Like the those of Jesus’ era, they reshape the law and extend it so that only they have the power, by not being loyal and submissive to immutable teachings handed down like the rest of the faithful, but rather dedicated to their own narcisstic self glorification of a feckless and spiritually bereft mindset, hell bent on dismantling chastity. Less than 12% of German Catholics go to mass, and you really can’t blame them much. If the leadership were not so tragic there, on display by such men as these, it would be laughable at how absurd their views are to anyone who has a basic use of reason and a rudimentary understanding of the Catholic faith.

  8. “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.” ”
    Evidently Cardinal Reinhard Marx has not read the Bible. “Whatever you do to one of these little ones you do to me.” The spiritual and corporal works of mercy, “Love one another as I have loved you.”
    All of these instructions for mankind must be voluntarily accepted and enacted through our own free will.
    What Cardinal Reinhard Marx is lamenting is the communist ideology of the state as being the redistributor of our virtues, our charity and our good will.

  9. QUADRATUS A free will offering cannot be demanded by the church. The tithe is still at the consent of the sovereign person and is to encompass all donations to the church and other charities some in one’s own neighborhood, like that of the Good Samaritan.

  10. “Without Karl Marx, there would be no Catholic Social Teaching,” is like saying, “without Arius, there would be no Nicene Creed.”

  11. “Truth is the conformity of the mind to what is (real).” Thomas Aquinas
    The Catholic Church is held in trust for all generations: the triumphant in heaven, the priesthood of the laity, the militant on earth and the suffering souls in purgatory.
    The physical and the spiritual treasures of the Vatican belong to all people, forever. The Vatican treasures belong to all generations.
    The Catholic Church cannot be taxed by the state because as citizens, the parishioners have paid their fair share of taxes. To impose a tax on the parishioners would be to impose two taxes with only one vote. Taxation without representation is unconstitutional.
    When Jesus Christ overturns the tables of the vendors in the Synagogue, Christ is making a statement of capitalism: to give what one needs in return for what one needs; of loving one’s neighbor as oneself. First the love for God, then the love for man, then the material exchange. Christ is bearing witness to freedom and free will.
    The support of the church, one of the six precepts of the church cannot be observed unless on recognizes that all men are “the church” with Jesus Christ as our head; the Pope, as the Vicar of Christ on earth.
    The Catholic Church cannot demand adherence to tithing (Deut: 14 22-29) which is giving a tenth of what one has without acknowledging that all mankind are the Church of Christ.

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