May 29, 2013 (TSR) – Pope Francis has attacked the “dictatorship” of the global financial system and warned that the “cult of money” was making life a misery for millions.
He said free-market capitalism had created a “tyranny” and that human beings were being judged purely by their ability to consume goods.
Money should be made to “serve” people, not to “rule” them, he said, calling for a more ethical financial system and curbs on financial speculation.
Countries should impose more control over their economies and not allow “absolute autonomy”, in order to provide “for the common good”.
The gap between rich and poor was growing and the “joy of life” was diminishing in many developed countries, the Argentinian Pope said, two months after he was elected as the successor to Benedict XVI.
“While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling,” said Francis, who as archbishop of Buenos Aires visited slums, opted to live in a modest flat rather than an opulent Church residence and went to work by bus.
In poorer countries, people’s lives were becoming “undignified” and marked by violence and desperation, he said.
Francis made the strongly-worded remarks in his first major speech on finance and the economy, during an address to foreign ambassadors in the Vatican.
It underlined a reputation he has established in the last two months for showing deep concern for the plight of the poor and vulnerable.
“The worship of 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 human goal,” Francis told the ambassadors.
As the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Argentina, he often spoke out about the plight of the poor during the country’s economic crisis.
Unchecked capitalism had created “a new, invisible, and at times virtual, tyranny”, said the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.
“The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but the Pope has the duty, in Christ’s name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them,” he said.
Francis will make the first foreign trip of his papacy to Brazil in July, during which he will visit a slum in Rio de Janeiro and meet young prison inmates.
He will attend World Youth Day, a week-long event which is expected to attract more than two million people. (Source: TopInfoPost)
Pope Francis shunned official papal apartments to live ‘normal life’
Pope Francis has revealed for the first time the reasons for his decision to shun the official papal apartments and instead live in a much more modest Vatican ‘hotel’.
He has told a friend that he likes being in daily contact with ordinary people, does not want to be isolated and enjoys sitting down to meals with visiting clergy.
The Pope, 76, who on first seeing the papal apartments reportedly exclaimed “But there is room here for 300 people!” hinted that the arrangement may be permanent.
The Pope broke with Vatican tradition when he decided, after being elected on March 13 during a secret conclave of cardinals, not to live in the apostolic apartments.
Instead he opted to remain in the Casa Santa Marta, a Vatican residence which accommodates visiting clergy and lay people, where he had stayed with his fellow cardinals during the conclave.
He lives in a suite of rooms in the residence, which sits in the shadow of St Peter’s Basilica, on the other side of the Vatican city state to the apostolic apartments.
He explained his choice in a letter written two weeks ago to an old friend, Father Enrique Martinez, a priest at the Church of the Annunciation in La Rioja.
“I didn’t want to go and live in the apostolic palace. I go over there just to work and for audiences.
“I’ve remained living in the Casa Santa Marta, which is a residence which accommodates bishops, priests and lay people.” There he feels “part of a family” he wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Clarin, an Argentinian daily.
“I’m visible to people and I lead a normal life – a public Mass in the morning, I eat in the refectory with everyone else, et cetera. All this is good for me and prevents me from being isolated.
“I’m trying to stay the same and to act as I did in Buenos Aires because if you change at my age you just look ridiculous.” The Pope, the first Jesuit pontiff in history and the first to come from the Americas, said his election was “something totally surprising” which he considers “a gift from God”.
His predecessor, Benedict XVI, is living a quiet life of retirement in a former convent on the other side of the Vatican.
The Pope got soaked on Wednesday as he was driven around St Peter’s Square in an open-air white jeep as part of his weekly audience.
Despite driving rain, he waved to the crowds and kissed babies who were handed up to him.
When he reached a covered platform overlooking the piazza, he was given a roll of paper towels with which to mop his face. He thanked the crowd for braving the bad weather. (Source: Telegraph)