By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
One of Europe’s most influential prelates, and someone widely viewed as close to the thinking of Pope Benedict XVI, has come out swinging against American “neo-cons” and in defense of a strong social welfare state.
Ironically, this critique of laissez faire capitalism comes from a bishop named Marx.
Archbishop Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising made the comments in an interview with the prestigious Catholic journal 30 Giorni, published in its September issue. Marx, 56, is widely expected to become a cardinal in the near future. He was appointed by Benedict XVI in 2007 to head the archdiocese once led by the pope, while he was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
In the new interview, Marx reflects on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, arguing that what was needed after the collapse of Communism was a “morally alert market economy, oriented towards global welfare,” but that instead what has prevailed is “radical capitalist ideology.”
Marx charges that what he calls “turbo-capitalism” has led “to a deterioration in the daily situation of millions of people.”