Catholic scholar: Marx worth studying

Oct. 22, 2009 at 4:48 PM
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VATICAN CITY, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Karl Marx, known for his hostility to religion, had relevant theories on "social alienation," a Catholic scholar said in the Vatican newspaper.

Georg Sans, a professor of contemporary philosophy at Gregorian University, the pontifical university in Rome, said Marxian thought may help guide people at a time of search for a "new harmony" between human needs and the natural world, The Times of London reported. He said Marx described the "social alienation" felt by those who have been excluded.

"We have to ask ourselves, with Marx, whether the forms of alienation of which he spoke have their origin in the capitalist system," Sans wrote in L'Osservatore Romano. "If money as such does not multiply on its own, how are we to explain the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few?"

Pope Benedict XVI gave a more traditional appraisal of Marx's legacy two years ago, saying Marxism "left a sad heritage of economic and ecological destruction, but also a painful destruction of the human spirit." But the pope has also been critical of capitalism.

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