Communism and Catholicism have often been cast in the role of deadly enemies. But the barriers may be torn down in the future. Signs of thaw and its significance are plainly evident on both sides. "Religion is the opiate of the people," wrote Lenin, the founder of Soviet Communism. His religious antagonist, Pope Leo XII, stated in 1891 that Socialism, including Communism, leads to "an odious and unbearable state of servitude for every citizen." These seemingly irreconcilable positions between Catholicism and Communism have been maintained - at least to the casual observer - for decades. But note the very surprising recent moves on both sides of the ideological fence:
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