Francis Calls for Spreading the Wealth in First Peace Message as Pope

Image: Francis Calls for Spreading the Wealth in First Peace Message as Pope

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 07:04 AM

 

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VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis attacked mega-salaries and big bonuses Thursday, saying in the first peace message of his pontificate that they are symptoms of an economy based on greed and inequality.

In his message for the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Peace, marked by the Church around the world on Jan. 1, he also called for more sharing of wealth among people and nations to narrow the gap between the rich and poor.

"The grave financial and economic crises of the present time . . . have pushed man to seek satisfaction, happiness, and security in consumption and earnings out of all proportion to the principles of a sound economy," he said. "The succession of economic crises should lead too a timely rethinking of our models of economic development and to a change in lifestyles."

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Francis, who was named Time magazine's Person of the Year on Wednesday, has urged his own Church to be more fair, frugal, and less pompous and to be closer to the poor and suffering.

His message will be sent to national leaders, international organizations such as the United Nations, and nongovernmental organizations.

Titled "Fraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace," the message also attacked injustice, human trafficking, organized crime, and the weapons trade as obstacles to peace.

The new Pope's style is characterized by frugality. He shunned the spacious papal apartment in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace to live in a small suite in a Vatican guest house, and he prefers a Ford Focus to the traditional pope's Mercedes.

A champion of the downtrodden, he visited the island of Lampedusa in southern Italy in July to pay tribute to hundreds of migrants who had died crossing the sea from North Africa.

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© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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