Pope attacks 'tyranny' of markets in manifesto for papacy

Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:46am EST
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Naomi O'Leary

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny" and beseeched global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality, in a document on Tuesday setting out a platform for his papacy and calling for a renewal of the Catholic Church.

The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, was the first major work he has authored alone as pope and makes official many 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 urged politicians to "attack the structural causes of inequality" and strive to provide work, healthcare and education to all citizens.

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 points?"

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.

Italian theologian Massimo Faggioli greeted the work as "the manifesto of Francis" while veteran Vatican analyst John Thavis called it a "Magna Carta for church reform".   Continued...

 
The document of the Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) from Pope Francis is seen as Bishop Carlo Maria Celli reads during a presentation in Vatican November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi