Pope Francis has attacked the global financial system, saying it has created a ‘cult of money’ that is turning humans into expendable consumer goods.
In his first major speech on the subject, Francis demanded that financial and political leaders reform the global financial system to make it more ethical and concerned for the common good.
He said: ‘Money has to serve, not to rule!’ and said that economics were ‘tyrannizing the poor
Pope Francis has criticised the global financial system for creating a ‘cult of money’
It’s a message Francis delivered repeatedly when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, and it’s one that was frequently stressed by retired Pope Benedict XVI.
Francis, who has made clear the poor are his priority, made the comments as he greeted his first group of new ambassadors of the Holy See, the central government of the church.
Quoting the famous biblical tale, the pontiff said the ‘worship of the golden calf’ had found a new image in the current cult of money.
He said the gap between rich and poor was growing and the ‘joy of life’ was diminishing in many developed countries.
‘While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling,’ he added.
Following his surprise election as head of the Catholics church in March he said he wanted ‘a Church that is poor and is for the poor.’
The pontiff chose the name Francis in a direct reference to St Francis of Assisi, the Italian founder of the Franciscan Order who was devoted to the poor.
He is well known for his efforts in tackling poverty in his native Argentina.
Since taking office he has taken a low-key approach to the office, choosing to live in the Vatican guesthouse rather than the papal residence.
Pope Francis canonised 800 Italian saints on Sunday who were slaughtered for refusing to convert to Islam.
The ‘Martyrs of Otranto’ were 813 Italians who were slain in the southern Italian city in 1480 for defying demands to renounce Christianity by Turkish invaders who overran the citadel.