Pope Francis: unfettered capitalism is “a new tyranny”

In 84-page apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis described unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny” while attacking the “idolatry of money” and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare”.

A meditation on how to revitalise a church suffering from encroaching secularisation 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. 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 wrote.

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.

You can read the whole EVANGELII GAUDIUM HERE.


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3 thoughts on “Pope Francis: unfettered capitalism is “a new tyranny”

  1. Appreciate you covering this.

    Nice catch on him living in the Vatican guest house. I didn’t know that. Probably also easier to keep Opus Dei and the church mice in the Vatican from poisoning him.

    Wasn’t happy that he ruled out women priests, but I’m not aware of anyone in the Judaeo-Christian tradition applying a commandment, “thou shall not kill,” to income inequality.

    “53. 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. ”

    “Revolutionary” is over used, but imho it applies here. I’m sure someone said it before, but I’ve never read it anywhere, and certainly no pope (or bishop?) has ever said it so plainly.

    Another issue is that the Koran also counts the Ten Commandments as part of its tradition.


    IMHO, Francis 1 has set the stage for Judaism and Islam to follow his lead on what “thou shall not kill,” means in the 21st Century.

  2. Pope Francis gets it!

    But the American bishops’ top, if not only, priority is abortion, abortion, abortion as they or some of them collaborate with the political, secular Right to Life state groups on their one issue agenda.

    In fact, WRTL is very active in soliciting and contacting Churches and religious groups as well as furnishing resources based upon my experiences and as evidenced by: http://www.wrtl.org/resources/churchpastor/

    Have you ever heard of a religious organization in league with a political organization? Well, I have!

    I am aware of three complaints to the IRS on Form 13909 this year and one last year which were filed against six Wisconsin Catholic parishes and their Bishop alleging involvement with a political, secular organization resulting in various violations of the churches’ 501(c)3 tax exempt status. It appears there have been some favorable results rejecting the involvement; however, I continue to warn all, “Sobrii et estote vigilate…” (1 Peter5: 8-9) or “….stay sober and alert…” to use a familiar biblical phrase warning of devilish behavior or, in this case, attempted perversion of a religious tax exempt institution by a GOP support group.

    I am thankful for Pope Francis calling attention to the dramatic increase of greed by Capital contrasted to an equally dramatic decline or stagnation of wages by Labor. The current situation supported by an oligarchy is in effect an economic abortion of the middle class and creation of more poverty. Now, the American Catholic bishops and priests have to get in line with Francis’ priority or emphasis on serving the human needs of the “born.”

    It seems to me that the Pope’s calling out of the greedy and his apparent call for an increase in a living wage and a reduction of those in poverty will also have a secondary effect. It will decrease the “unborn” more so than closing clinics and misogynistic legislation.

    Rah, rah, rah; Go Pope Francis!

  3. 1. Is the Pope Catholic?

    Of course, yes.

    2, Are the Koch brothers, David and Charles, Catholic?

    As best as I can determine, yes and no.

    3. Are the Koch brothers, two officers of Koch Industries, an example of Pope Francis’ “unfettered capitalism is a ‘new tyranny’?

    You will find the answer spending a troubling hour or so on Google with the Koch bothers as I did this evening.

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