In his first major work written as Pontiff, Pope Francis has called out “unfettered capitalism as ‘a new tyranny'” and is “urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality.”
Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, an 84-page document which is tantamount to his official platform, builds on views Francis “has aired in sermons and remarks since he became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years in March.”
In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticising the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry of money” and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare”.
He also called on rich people to share their wealth. “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,” Francis wrote in the document issued on Tuesday.
“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”
Pope Francis called for an “overhaul of the financial system and warns that unequal distribution of wealth inevitably leads to violence.”
“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 wrote.
Denying this was simple populism, he called for action “beyond a simple welfare mentality” and added: “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor.”
Pope Francis has lived a life of austerity since he was elected and chose the name Francis in honor of Italian Saint Francis of the Medieval era who choose to live a life of poverty and founded the Franciscan Order.
How refreshing to have an outspoken Pope who actually cares about the little people… Got to love Papa Francisco. Now if we can just bring him to the table on some other issues.