Just days after riling conservatives by saying the church was “obsessed” with gays and abortion, Pope Francis is again catching conservatives off guard by blasting the global economic system, saying it is based on a “god called money.”
He also urged the poor to fight for work.
Francis, at the start of a day-long trip to the Sardinian capital, Cagliari, put aside his prepared text at a meeting with unemployed workers, including miners in hard hats who told him of their situation, and improvised for nearly 20 minutes.
The pope, who later celebrated Mass for some 300,000 people outside the city’s cathedral, told them: “We don’t want this globalised economic system which does us so much harm. Men and women have to be at the centre (of an economic system) as God wants, not money.”
“The world has become an idolator of this god called money,” he is quoted as saying.
While Cagliari has an unemployment rate of about 51 percent for young people, he noted that his remarks included the entire economic system.
“It is not a problem of Italy and Europe … It is the consequence of a world choice, of an economic system that brings about this tragedy, an economic system that has at its centre an idol which is called money,” he said wild cheers.
Pope Benedict, Francis’s predecessor, also called for economic system changes, but did so in a much more reserved manner.