Pope: Dictatorships can only be destructive

VATICAN CITY—Pope Benedict XVI, who spent his youth in Hitler’s Germany, says dictators boast that they will change the world, but just bring destruction.

The pontiff’s reflections on what he calls history’s “false prophets” came in off-the-cuff remarks Sunday while visiting a Rome church named after Maximilian Kolbe. Kolbe was a Polish priest who sacrificed his life at the Auschwitz Nazi death camp so that the father of a family would live.

Benedict says the last few centuries witnessed ideologues who created “empires, dictatorships, totalitarianism.”

He says they changed the world, but only in a destructive way. Benedict adds that only “the silent light of truth,” not cruel and violent revolutions, can change the world.

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