REUTERS/Max Ross – Pope Francis is silhouetted against window light at the end of a meeting with Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo at the Vatican in October.
By Naomi O’Leary, Reuters
Pope Francis called for renewal of the Roman Catholic Church and attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny,” urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff.
The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, amounted to an official platform for his papacy, building on 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 beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare.”
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.
Commentary by The Secular Jurist: While we neither endorse the office of the Pope nor the institution of the Catholic Church, we do wholeheartedly endorse the theme of Pope Francis’ exhortation. Humanity is in a state of imminent crisis due primarily to the manifest greed and corruption of globalized capitalism as it presently exists. This is not hyperbole. Francis also wrote: “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.“