Pope Benedict XVI blamed Marxism and unbridled capitalism for Latin America's problems on Sunday, and urged bishops to mold a new generation of Roman Catholic leaders in politics to reverse the church's declining influence in the region.
Ending a five-day trip to the church's biggest stronghold on the planet, Benedict also warned that legalized contraception and abortion in Latin America threaten "the future of the peoples" and said the historic Catholic identity of the region is under assault.
"The Marxist system, where it found its way into government, not only left a sad heritage of economic and ecological destruction, but also a painful destruction of the human spirit," Benedict said as he opened a two-week bishops' conference aimed at re-energizing the church's influence in Latin America.
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