London, Jan.6 (ANI): The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has declared that capitalism is dead because of the credit crunch.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, 76, made the astonishing claim at a lavish fund-raising dinner at Claridges which secured pledges of hundreds of thousands of pounds for the Catholic church, the Telegraph reports.The Cardinal, dressed in his full clerical regalia, said in a speech at the black tie dinner that he had worried whether the dinner should go ahead because of the troubled economic times. But he went on to say that in 1989, with the collapse of the Berlin wall, that "communism had died". In 2008, he said, " capitalism had died".The remarks will cause dismay in Downing Street as the Cardinal's remarks will be interpreted as a signal that the entire economic order has collapsed.
The Government has clashed with the Cardinal before over homosexual adoption, abortion and the Embryology Bill.
One Whitehall source said: "We would like the church to work with us, not against us."
The four course dinner, with a champagne reception, had been provided free of charge by Derek Quinlan, the property developer, who owns Claridges who is worth an estimated 60 million pounds.
The remarks by the Cardinal come as leading bishops in the Church of England have launched a withering attack on the Government, questioning the morality of its policies.
Five of the Church's most senior figures said the Government now presided over a country suffering from family breakdown, an unhealthy reliance on debt and a growing divide between rich and poor. (ANI)