Pope Francis Attacks 'Idolatry of Money,' Says Inequality 'Kills'

Pope Francis called on politicians to guarantee “dignified work, education and healthcare” to their citizens.

Pope Francis leads a mass at St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on November 23, 2013

Pope Francis launched a broadside against inequality and out-of-control capitalism in a 84-page document released Tuesday.

In what is known as an “apostolic exhortation,” which means communication from the Pope of the Catholic Church, Francis called on politicians to guarantee “dignified work, education and healthcare” to their citizens and also criticized the “idolatry of money,” according to Reuters.  Francis “beg[ged] the Lord” to deliver politicians who were more concerned with the poor and inequality.  

Francis blasted the current economic system as one that is profoundly unequal.

“Just as the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say 'thou shalt not' to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,” the Pope wrote.  “As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world's problems or, for that matter, to any problems.”

He also repeated his calls for reform in the Catholic Church, though still said that women could not become priests.  He did say that women should have more influence in the church.

Francis himself has made it a point to practice what he preaches.  He lives in a guest house at the Vatican rathan the usual, lavish Apostolic Palace.  Last month, Reuters notes Pope Francis suspended a bishop who spent millions on his residence.


 

Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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