Pope attacks ‘tyranny’ of capitalism

Reuters reports: Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny” and beseeched global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality, in a document on Tuesday setting out a platform for his papacy and calling for a renewal of the Catholic Church.

The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, was the first major work he has authored alone as pope and makes official many views he 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 criticizing the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry of money”, and urged politicians to “attack the structural causes of inequality” and strive to provide work, healthcare and education to all citizens.

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. [Continue reading…]

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6 thoughts on “Pope attacks ‘tyranny’ of capitalism

  1. Steve

    Sorry Padre you should practice what you preach then maybe someone will listen rather than considering you a hypocite.

  2. Ziad K Abdelnour

    The Greenspan led Federal Reserve created two epic bubbles in the space of six years which burst and have done irreparable harm to the net worth of the middle class. Rather than learn the lesson of how much damage to the lives of average Americans has been caused by creating cheap easy money out of thin air, our Ivy League self-proclaimed expert on the Great Depression, Ben Bernanke, has ramped up the cheap easy money machine to hyper-speed. There is nothing normal about the path this man has chosen. His strategy has revealed the true nature of the Federal Reserve and their purpose – to protect and enrich the financial elites that manipulate this country for their own purposes.

  3. hquain

    Francis is a remarkable individual but a contradiction lies not too far beneath the surface — I wonder if he’ll ever face up to it: the Church itself is vastly wealthy and a sink for gigantic amounts of money and resources. It vigorously sponsors social and medical attitudes that immiserate millions. I’m remembering something about a log and a speck — will Francis?

  4. rackstraw

    Reading the NYT article mentioned. one might well get the impression that all this is merely the case of one sick old man hopping on that same old discredited bandwagon.

    However while the NYT mentions St Francis, they neglect to connect the dots between St Francis, the Pope and Jesus Himself, who taught exactly the same thing in many well known parables and sayings; to name a few: The Sheep and the Goats, Lazarus and the Rich Man, The Rich Fool, The Rich Young Ruler, and so forth.

    The Times feigns to believe that all this is merely a stunt, an eccentricity, something that Francis made up himself, rather than the essence of the Gospel message itself.

    “Some hear the Word, but the worries of this age, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things enter in, and choke the Word, and it bears no fruit.” — Parable of the Sower
    “How hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” — Parable of the Rich Young Ruler.

  5. Paul Woodward

    There is plenty of evidence that Francis is doing what any true leader should: lead by example. Moreover, actions such as the suspension of the German bishop, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, are clearly intended to send a strong signal to the whole church.

    The pope is clear about who the church should serve:

    When we read the Gospel we find a clear indication: not so much our friends and wealthy neighbours, but above all the poor and the sick, those who are usually despised and overlooked, “those who cannot repay you” (Lk 14:14). There can be no room for doubt or for explanations which weaken so clear a message. Today and always, “the poor are the privileged recipients of the Gospel”,[52] and the fact that it is freely preached to them is a sign of the kingdom that Jesus came to establish. We have to state, without mincing words, that “there is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor”. May we never abandon them.

    During his brief tenure, Francis seems to have been perfectly consistent in his message. But like anyone who wants to bring about sustainable cultural changes, he does not assume the role of a dictator.

    It’s a bit ironic that those who might one minute have contempt for the papacy because it’s an institution invested with so much power, would the next minute suggest that the pope is not using enough power to bring about sweeping changes.

    He got hired for this job less than nine months ago. At this point I’d say: so far, so good.

  6. BillVZ

    “No to a financial system which rules rather than serves .”

    Francis is saying that merely trusting in the goodness of others is naive and unworkable as an economic plan. There are specific remedies to be applied (which he proposed), not just spiritual awakening. This is quite refreshing coming from a spiritual leader! Scott Baker at OpEd News

    Paul, your perception of ‘so far so good is welcomed. Also the articles on Iran at the top-very informative and equally welcomed.
    Umm..Francis was not ‘hired’ despite the temptation to equate the Papacy and the College of Cardinals who elected him in the same light as GE,Disney or coca Cola it does have a quite different origin and purpose.

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