In an interview with Italy’s Sunday morning paper, La Stampa, Pope Francis, champion of the poor and middle class, slams capitalism and his haters like never before, saying that taking a stand against the world’s growing crony capitalism isn’t “pauperism,” but rather the message of Jesus.
“Jesus affirms that you cannot serve two masters, God and wealth. Is it pauperism? Jesus tells us that it is the ‘protocol’ on the basis of which we will be judged, it is what we read in Chapter 25 of Matthew: I had hunger, I had thirst, I was in prison, I was sick, I was naked and you helped me: dressed me, visited me, you took care of me.”
“This is the touchstone. Is it pauperism? No, it is the Gospel. The Gospel message is a message open to all. The Gospel does not condemn the rich but idolatry of wealth, that idolatry that renders [us] insensitive to the cries of the poor.”
So, to any confused bible-thumping conservatives out there who might be reading this, let me put it in layman’s terms: worshiping money that crushes 99% of the world and sends hoards of people into abject poverty is bad and extremely anti-Jesus. If someone who is actually a true man of God (or even if they aren’t) talks about it and speaks out against it, they are not a Marxist communist, socialist, redistributionist who hates personal gain and competition. Just don’t be a selfish, greedy jerk.
According to the National Catholic Reporter, this interview, as well as a few others Francis has given over the course of his papacy regarding capitalism, will be transformed into a book by two La Stampa‘s Vatican reporters, Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi.
More from the interview, translated from Italian courtesy of NCR:
Responding to a question to the pope of whether the progress of capitalism over the past decades is “irreversible.”
I recognize that globalization has helped many people to rise from poverty, but it has condemned many others to hunger. It’s true that in absolute terms it grows world wealth, but it also increased the disparity and the new kinds of poverty.
What I notice is that this system is maintained with the culture of waste, of which I have already spoken several times. There is a politics, sociology, and also an attitude of rejection.
When at the center of the system there is not anymore man but money, when money becomes an idol, men and women are reduced and simply instruments of a social system and an economy characterized, indeed dominated by deep imbalances.
… It is that attitude that rejects children and old people, and now also affects young people. I have the impression that in the developed countries there are many millions of young people under 25 years that don’t have work. I have called them “nor-nor”, because they don’t study and they don’t work: they don’t study because they don’t have possibility to do so, don’t work because they can’t find it.
But I would like to also remember that the culture of waste refuses children also with abortion. It strikes me the rates of birth so low here in Italy: Like this you lose the link with the future.
Read more of the amazing interview here.