Pope Francis Calls Unfettered Capitalism 'A New Tyranny'
Source Louis Proyect
Date 13/11/27/13:09

Pope Francis Calls Unfettered Capitalism 'A New Tyranny'
Naomi O'Leary, Reuters
REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Pope Francis presides over the Holy Mass for the Assumption of Mary from
the papal summer residence in Castelgandolfo south of Rome, August 15, 2013.

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis called for renewal of the Roman
Catholic Church and attacked unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny",
urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the
first major work he has authored alone as pontiff.

The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, amounted to an
official platform for his papacy, building on 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 beseeching
politicians to guarantee all citizens "dignified work, education and

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 2

The pope said renewal of the Church could not be put off and said the
Vatican and its entrenched hierarchy "also need to hear the call to
pastoral conversion".

"I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has
been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from
being confined and from clinging to its own security," he wrote.

In July, Francis finished an encyclical begun by Pope Benedict but he
made clear that it was largely the work of his predecessor, who resigned
in February.

Called "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel), the exhortation is
presented in Francis' simple and warm preaching style, distinct from the
more academic writings of former popes, and stresses the Church's
central mission of preaching "the beauty of the saving love of God made
manifest in Jesus Christ".

In it, he reiterated earlier statements that the Church cannot ordain
women or accept abortion. The male-only priesthood, he said, "is not a
question open to discussion" but women must have more influence in
Church leadership.


A meditation on how to revitalize a Church suffering from encroaching
secularization in Western countries, the exhortation echoed the
missionary zeal more often heard from the evangelical Protestants who
have won over many disaffected Catholics in the pope's native Latin America.

In it, economic inequality features as one of the issues Francis is most
concerned about, and the 76-year-old pontiff calls 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

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."

Since his election, Francis has set an example for austerity in the
Church, living in a Vatican guest house rather than the ornate Apostolic
Palace, travelling in a Ford Focus, and last month suspending a bishop
who spent millions of euros on his luxurious residence.

He chose to be called "Francis" after the medieval Italian saint of the
same name famed for choosing a life of poverty.

Stressing cooperation among religions, Francis quoted the late Pope John
Paul II's idea that the papacy might be reshaped to promote closer ties
with other Christian churches and noted lessons Rome could learn from
the Orthodox such as "synodality" or decentralized leadership.

He praised cooperation with Jews and Muslims and urged Islamic countries
to guarantee their Christian minorities the same religious freedom as
Muslims enjoy in the West.

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