Pope Francis on the idolization of money

Recently, in a visit with workers in the Italian city of Cagliari, Pope Francis shared some strong words on the topic of unemployment and the global economy. The pope acknowledged the suffering that accompanies prolonged unemployment, and denounced an economy that has placed the pursuit of money above the well-being of men and women. For those interested, the full text of the Pope’s statements can be found here (warning: they are in Italian, but google translate can provide you with a pretty decent English translation).

While the Pope is not saying anything essentially new here (in fact, some of this all sounds very familiar… Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13 familiar), his words do give new voice to an age old sentiment that has taken on a peculiarly modern manifestation. How can we make sure that our economy does was it is intended to do – serve the interests of humanity, and provide for our well being? How can we keep people at the center of our economy?


Steven Cottam

Steven Cottam hangs out in the Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond, Va, alongside a lot of cool folks who are up to a lot of good. He works as an outdoor educator, working to get urban youth out and enjoying God's creation. He lives with his wife Megan, his (soon to be born) daughter Jackie, his dog Wanda, and their roommate Kelly. Past adventures have included getting his Master's in Theology from Catholic Theological Union, serving as a elementary school religion teacher, and living in a Catholic Worker house in Phoenix, AZ.

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  • http://denisematteau.wordpress.com denisematteau

    The way you phrase the question, Steven, leaves me scratching my head a little. Jesus told us not to worry about our personal needs when he pointed at the lilies of the field and he also warned us about the obstacles of financial distractions when he spoke of the camel and the eye of the needle. It is not for us to see that the economy serves humanity and place people at its center, is it? Because then the question becomes “which people” are at its center, right? The “economy” itself was never designed to serve humanity. It serves itself, which is Mammon. I think we need to take our eyes off the economic questions and place them instead on service, letting God protect us from the wrath of the Mammon who will certainly attack us for being unfaithful to it.