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Pope comments on failure of Marxism in Cuba, scourge of drug traffic in Mexico

March 23, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI denounced Mexico’s drug violence, and said that Marxism is no longer a viable governing system in Cuba, during an exchange with reporters who accompanied him on his flight from Rome to Mexico on March 23.

“I share the joys and the hopes, and I also share the grief and the difficulties” of Mexico, the Pontiff said in answer to a reporter’s question.

“We know well the beauties of Mexico, but also this enormous problem of narcotics trafficking and violence,” the Pope continued. He said that the drug trade is “destructive of mankind and especially of our youth.” In response to the problem, he said, the role of the Church is “to educate consciences, to educate in the moral responsibility and to unmask evil, to unmask this idolatry of money that enslaves men.”

Turning to Cuba, the Pope said: “It is evident today that Marxist ideology as it had been conceived no longer corresponds to reality.” Cuba is working its way toward democracy, he said. The Pontiff said that his predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, helped to inaugurate a process in which Church leaders prevailed upon the government to open more space for freedom and show greater respect for human rights. Church-state relations still follow that model, he said, pursuing “a path of collaboration and constructive dialogue, a road that is long and calls for patience, but moves forward.”

Responding indirectly to criticism that Church leaders have offered too many concessions to a repressive Castro regime, the Pope said that the Church “always favors freedom: freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.” He cautioned against thinking of the Church exclusively in political terms. “The Church is not a political power, not a party, but a moral reality, a moral power,” he said.


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