International News

Pope: Market Won’t Solve Poverty

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The world cannot wait for an economic system that will cause poverty to fix itself, Pope Francis said.

“Markets and financial speculation cannot enjoy absolute autonomy,” he said. There must be “programs, mechanisms and procedures aimed at a better distribution of resources, job creation and the integral advancement of those who are excluded,” he said in a recently published interview.

“We cannot wait any longer to fix the structural causes of poverty, to cure our society from a disease that can only bring on new crises,” he said.

The latest interview, conducted in October, 2014, was published in a new book, “Pope Francis: This Economy Kills” by Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli. While noting the positive outcomes of the current globalized economy in lifting many people from poverty, the pope said it also “con- demned many others to die of hunger.”

While globalization raised the level of global wealth, income disparity also increased and new forms of poverty have emerged, he said.

This globalized economy is supported “by a throwaway culture” where policies and social behaviors have made money, not people, the focus.

“Money becomes an idol, and men and women are reduced to simple tools of a social and economic system characterized, no, dominated by deep imbalances,” he said.

Abortion and the abandonment of the elderly are also consequences of this throwaway mentality, he said.

He said if he were to use the same phrases from the homilies of these early church fathers “on how to treat the poor, there would be someone accusing my homily of being Marxist.”

“This attention to the poor is in the Gospel and is in the tradition of the church, it is not an invention of communism, and there is no need to turn it into an ideology, as has sometimes been the case throughout history,” he said.

The Gospel message of helping the poor is meant for everyone, he said.“The Gospel does not condemn the rich but the idolatry of wealth, that idolatry that makes people insensitive to the cry of the poor,” he said.