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Pope Francis condemned the global ‘cult of money’ and the ‘new idols’

Friday, May 17th 2013 - 06:40 UTC
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“Money has to serve, not to rule” said the Pope who also attacked “the culture of disposal” (Photo AP) “Money has to serve, not to rule” said the Pope who also attacked “the culture of disposal” (Photo AP)
St. John Chrysostom: ”Not to share one's goods with the poor is to rob them and to deprive them of life” St. John Chrysostom: ”Not to share one's goods with the poor is to rob them and to deprive them of life”

Pope Francis has condemned the global “cult of money” and urged world leaders to do more for the poor. In his first major speech on finance and the economy, the pontiff said money should be made to “serve” people, not to “rule” them.

“Money has to serve, not to rule,” he said in his strongest remarks yet as pope concerning the world's economic and financial crises. A major reason behind the increase in social and economic woes worldwide “is in our relationship with money and our acceptance of its power over us and our society,” he told a group of diplomats.

“We have created new idols” where the “golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.”

The pope made his remarks during a speech to four new ambassadors to the Vatican presenting their letters of credential. The new ambassadors from Kyrgyzstan, Antigua and Barbados, Luxembourg and Botswana will not be residing in Rome.

The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, told journalists it was the pope's “first forceful speech on the economic and financial crisis,” social justice, and the attention needed to the world's poor.

The speech “is in continuity with his previous talks on these subjects” as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina; “but as pope it is his first powerful and explicit speech” touching on such themes in-depth, the spokesman said.

In his 10-minute scripted speech to new ambassadors, the pope highlighted the root causes of today's economic and social troubles, pointing to policies and actions that stem from a “gravely deficient human perspective, which reduces man to one of his needs alone, namely, consumption.”

“We have begun this culture of disposal,” he said, where “human beings themselves are nowadays considered as consumer goods which can be used and thrown away.”

The wealth of a minority “is increasing exponentially,” while the income of the majority “is crumbling,” he said.

This economic inequality is caused by “ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to states, which are themselves charged with providing for the common good.”

The lack of adequate economic regulation or oversight means “a new, invisible and at times virtual, tyranny is established, one which unilaterally and irremediably imposes its own laws and rules,” he said.

Ethical principles and policies of solidarity are “often considered counterproductive, opposed to the logic of finance and economy,” he said.

“Ethics, like solidarity, is a nuisance” and so they are rejected along with God, he added.

“These financiers, economists and politicians consider God to be unmanageable, even dangerous, because he calls man to his full realization and to independence from any kind of slavery.”

Pope Francis called on the world's political and financial leaders to consider the words of St. John Chrysostom: “Not to share one's goods with the poor is to rob them and to deprive them of life. It is not our goods that we possess, but theirs.”

The pope said he “loves everyone, rich and poor alike,” but that as pope he “has the duty, in Christ's name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them.”

He called for ethical financial reform that would “benefit everyone” and for the world of finance and economics to make people a priority and take into account the importance of ethics and solidarity.

Why shouldn't world leaders “turn to God to draw inspiration,” the Pope asked.

Looking to God and “his designs” would help create “a new political and economic mindset” that would bring economics and social concerns back together in a healthy and harmonious relationship”.


Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • British_Kirchnerist

    Sounds like he's come round to Cristina's point of view just in time =)

    May 17th, 2013 - 09:11 am 0
  • briton

    he will ask that they all give there money to her,

    make her even richer..

    May 17th, 2013 - 09:50 am 0
  • Pirate Love

    rants from yet another outdated belief, set in place for centuries to control the lost, easily fooled and f*cking mentally weak.....

    whats said in church should stay in church/chapel whatever..., such rubbish has no place amongst the non-brainwashed of the modern world!

    wasn't the world flat once? well that's what they scared people with until they knew better :)))

    May 17th, 2013 - 12:55 pm 0
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