Pope Francis calls for global financial reform

In his first address on the world economy, Pope Francis has called for global financial reform that respects human dignity, helps the poor and promotes the common good.

“Money has to serve, not to rule,” he told a group of diplomats.

He called for ethical financial reform that would “benefit everyone” and for the world of finance and economics to make people a priority and take into account the importance of ethics and solidarity.

Highlighting the root causes of today’s economic and social troubles, the Pope pointed to policies and actions that stem from a “gravely deficient human perspective, which reduces man to one of his needs alone, namely, consumption”.

In this “culture of disposal”, he said, “human beings themselves are nowadays considered as consumer goods which can be used and thrown away”.

The Pope criticised economic inequality caused by “ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to states, which are themselves charged with providing for the common good”.

In the absence of adequate economic regulation or oversight, “a new, invisible and at times virtual, tyranny is established, one which unilaterally and irremediably imposes its own laws and rules”.

Ethics, like solidarity, is seen as “a nuisance” and rejected, he added. Ethical principles and policies of solidarity are “often considered counterproductive, opposed to the logic of finance and economy”.

Pope Francis said a major reason behind the increase in social and economic woes worldwide “is in our relationship with money and our acceptance of its power over ourselves and our society”.

“The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly human goal,” he said.

Pope Francis called on the world’s political and financial leaders to consider the words of St John Chrysostom: “Not to share one’s goods with the poor is to rob them and to deprive them of life. It is not our goods that we possess, but theirs.”


Catholic News Service

Vatican Information Service

Image: Vatican News

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