Skip to comments.Pope Francis warns against 'cult of money,' urges more help for poor
Posted on 05/16/2013 3:45:25 PM PDT by haffast
VATICAN CITY, May 16 (UPI) -- Pope Francis Thursday blamed the global economic crisis on "the cult of money" and urged reform to promote the common good and help the poor.
Speaking to newly accredited ambassadors to the Vatican, the pope said money "has to serve, not to rule," Catholic News Service reported. He told his audience humanity has "created new idols" and said growing social and economic troubles result from "our relationship with money and our acceptance of its power over ourselves and our society."
The pope said 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 Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said the speech was intended to draw the world's attention to social justice and the needs of the poor amid the financial crises.
In the speech, the pope singled out for criticism policies and based on 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, in which people themselves are "considered as consumer goods which can be used and thrown away," while a minority of people accumulate "exponentially" increasing wealth while income "is crumbling" for the majority.
(Excerpt) Read more at upi.com ...
"Not to share one's goods with the poor is to rob them and to deprive them of life," he said, quoting St. John Chrysostom. "It is not our goods that we possess, but theirs.""
How much is the Vatican sitting on again?
Pope Francis hits out at global ‘cult of money’
16 May 2013 Last updated at 11:45 ET
Meanwhile, the Vatican’s own bank announced it would publish its annual report for the first time.
The Institute for Works of Religion, which has been at the centre of various financial scandals in recent years, is to hire an external accountancy firm to ensure it meets international standards against money laundering.
The bank would launch a website and publish its annual report in an effort to increase transparency, new president Ernst Freyberg said.
The institute is considered one of the world’s most secretive banks.
He should have said, “It’s not our goods we posses, but God’s”.
Then he’d be correct. Government stands opposed to God’s purposes. The poor have no claim on my goods, but my goodwill.
Is he talking about socialism or the free market?
Is he aware of the racist and mercantilist origins of regulations, permitting and licensing? That's what generates povery and always has.
How is the Pope criticizing the widespread acceptance of greed a bad thing?
I don’t get why people allow the distinctions between greed and free enterprise be blurred.
Spiritually, I have been rich and I have been poor.
I would rather be financially poor and spiritual rich any day.
Monks and hermits who have NOTHING are rich...they don't need your money.
I have lived among the wealthy of NYC and the nation...and I have never met a poorer, emptier crowd. Their society is the very definition of poverty
The Pope is barking up the wrong tree..
We and the Church need a more insightful leader than this.
An amoral global cult of greed is real. His solution of government wealth transfer to the poor empowers absolute evil which does and will persecute Christians.
He must promote charity and condemn the greedy SOB’s like Gates and Algore, who do not give to the poor, rather use their charity to harm and enslave human life.
If this pope is a freaking totaltarian socialist, he can kiss my butt.
Socialism and the purposeful debasement of the currency.
Considering how badly the Peronist Kirchner administration in Argentina hates him, he’s not a socialist.
I am pleased to receive you for the presentation of the Letters accrediting you as Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Holy See on the part of your respective countries: Kyrgyzstan, Antigua and Barbuda, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Botswana. The gracious words which you have addressed to me, for which I thank you heartily, have testified that the Heads of State of your countries are concerned to develop relations of respect and cooperation with the Holy See. I would ask you kindly to convey to them my sentiments of gratitude and esteem, together with the assurance of my prayers for them and their fellow citizens.
Ladies and Gentlemen, our human family is presently experiencing something of a turning point in its own history, if we consider the advances made in various areas. We can only praise the positive achievements which contribute to the authentic welfare of mankind, in fields such as those of health, education and communications. At the same time, we must also acknowledge that the majority of the men and women of our time continue to live daily in situations of insecurity, with dire consequences. Certain pathologies are increasing, with their psychological consequences; fear and desperation grip the hearts of many people, even in the so-called rich countries; the joy of life is diminishing; indecency and violence are on the rise; poverty is becoming more and more evident. People have to struggle to live and, frequently, to live in an undignified way. One cause of this situation, in my opinion, is in the our relationship with money, and our acceptance of its power over ourselves and our society. Consequently the financial crisis which we are experiencing makes us forget that its ultimate origin is to be found in a profound human crisis. In the denial of the primacy of human beings! We have created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old (cf. Ex 32:15-34) 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 worldwide financial and economic crisis seems to highlight their distortions and above all the gravely deficient human perspective, which reduces man to one of his needs alone, namely, consumption. Worse yet, human beings themselves are nowadays considered as consumer goods which can be used and thrown away. We have begun a throw away culture. This tendency is seen on the level of individuals and whole societies; and it is being promoted! In circumstances like these, solidarity, which is the treasure of the poor, is often considered counterproductive, opposed to the logic of finance and the economy. While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. This imbalance results from 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. A new, invisible and at times virtual, tyranny is established, one which unilaterally and irremediably imposes its own laws and rules. Moreover, indebtedness and credit distance countries from their real economy and citizens from their real buying power. Added to this, as if it were needed, is widespread corruption and selfish fiscal evasion which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The will to power and of possession has become limitless.
Concealed behind this attitude is a rejection of ethics, a rejection of God. Ethics, like solidarity, is a nuisance! It is regarded as counterproductive: as something too human, because it relativizes money and power; as a threat, because it rejects manipulation and subjection of people: because ethics leads to God, who is situated outside the categories of the market. These financiers, economists and politicians consider God to be unmanageable, unmanageable even dangerous, because he calls man to his full realization and to independence from any kind of slavery. Ethics naturally, not the ethics of ideology makes it possible, in my view, to create a balanced social order that is more humane. In this sense, I encourage the financial experts and the political leaders of your countries to consider the words of Saint John Chrysostom: Not to share ones goods with the poor is to rob them and to deprive them of life. It is not our goods that we possess, but theirs (Homily on Lazarus, 1:6 PG 48, 992D).
Dear Ambassadors, there is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. This would nevertheless require a courageous change of attitude on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and farsightedness, taking account, naturally, of their particular situations. Money has to serve, not to rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but the Pope has the duty, in Christs name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them. The Pope appeals for disinterested solidarity and for a return to person-centred ethics in the world of finance and economics.
For her part, the Church always works for the integral development of every person. In this sense, she reiterates that the common good should not be simply an extra, simply a conceptual scheme of inferior quality tacked onto political programmes. The Church encourages those in power to be truly at the service of the common good of their peoples. She urges financial leaders to take account of ethics and solidarity. And why should they not turn to God to draw inspiration from his designs? In this way, a new political and economic mindset would arise that would help to transform the absolute dichotomy between the economic and social spheres into a healthy symbiosis.
Finally, through you, I greet with affection the Pastors and the faithful of the Catholic communities present in your countries. I urge them to continue their courageous and joyful witness of faith and fraternal love in accordance with Christs teaching. Let them not be afraid to offer their contribution to the development of their countries, through initiatives and attitudes inspired by the Sacred Scriptures! And as you inaugurate your mission, I extend to you, dear Ambassadors, my very best wishes, assuring you of the assistance of the Roman Curia for the fulfilment of your duties. To this end, upon you and your families, and also upon your Embassy staff, I willingly invoke abundant divine blessings.
When you hear him talking about inequity, I would suggest that you consider the situation in areas like Bangladesh, rather than here.
You will not find the Pope advocating for government-enforced redistribution (nor would you find St John Chrysostom doing so); rather, you will continually hear him exhorting people (a/k/a individuals) to do the right thing.
“...the inordinate love for riches. Its special malice, broadly speaking, lies in that it makes the getting and keeping of money, possessions, and the like, a purpose in itself to live for. It does not see that these things are valuable only as instruments for the conduct of a rational and harmonious life, due regard being paid of course to the special social condition in which one is placed.”
None of that is required for a free market, unless you think like Michael Moore and define Bernie Madoff as the prime example of Capitalism.
I wish the Pope, before speaking on this issue, would come to understand it as an addiction.
He might...but, if he does, he will venture onto politically incorrect territory.
I am terribly sorry but the Vatican sits upon a treasure trove of unmeasurable wealth, nice try.
I do not oppose wealth but I find this little homily ridiculous.
I appreciate that individual Roman Catholics, parishes and charities do a great, great deal for the poor.
No kidding! Lots of coin being in the “god” business! Physician heal thy self!
“Organized Religion,” stealing from the world!
The Pope means well, but he obviously doesn’t understand that the “love of money” or capitalism as he would like to call it, has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system in the world. Yes, “greedy” capitalists have done far more for the poor of the world than all the humanity-loving (and murdering) Marxists whose stated objectives is to help poor people. Instead, Marxism has thrust more people into poverty than any other system.
the middle/working classes are getting shafted daily while the feds print money at the behest of the elite cabal....
but whenever I think of "taking care of the poor"..I think of we individuals....
its nothing for a govt to handout the profits from those who work hard and save...
but for we hard workers and savers to give ON OUR OWN....willingly, lovingly,magnanimously...now that is true charity..