On Sunday, Pope Francis discarded his prepared remarks for Mass after speaking with an unemployed father-of-three who, according to Reuters, told him that unemployment “oppresses you and wears you out to the depths of your soul.”
The pope improvised on this theme for over twenty minutes, saying “I find suffering here … It weakens you and robs you of hope. Excuse me if I use strong words, but where there is no work there is no dignity.”
“We don’t want this globalized economic system which does us so much harm,” he reportedly continued. “Men and women have to be at the center [of economic systems] as God wants, not money.”
“The world has become an idolator of this god called money.”
The pope laid blame for the Italian economic downturn at the feet of the world economy, saying “It is not a problem of Italy and Europe … It is the consequence of a world choice, of an economic system that brings about this tragedy, an economic system that has at its center an idol which is called money.”
He later spoke of the “hidden euthanasia” of neglect that afflicts those the economy considers unproductive: “To defend this economic culture, a throwaway culture has been installed. We throw away grandparents, and we throw away young people. We have to say no to his throwaway culture. We want a just system that helps everyone.”
Francis concluded with a prayer for what he called “work, work, work,” and the 20,000 gathered to hear him speak cheered along with each iteration of the ways in which “unemployment robs workers of their dignity.”
[Image via AFP]
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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