Pope Francis says capitalism without restraint is "the dung of the devil" and a "subtle dictatorship."
"Time, my brothers and sisters, seems to be running out; we are not yet tearing one another apart, but we are tearing apart our common home," Francis said in a speech in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on Thursday, according to a transcript
from the The Vatican Today website.
"Today, the scientific community realizes what the poor have long told us: harm, perhaps irreversible harm, is being done to the ecosystem. The earth, entire peoples and individual persons are being brutally punished," the Pope said.
"And behind all this pain, death and destruction there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea called 'the dung of the devil,'" Pope Francis argued. "An unfettered pursuit of money rules."
"The service of the common good is left behind. Once capital becomes an idol and guides people's decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk our common home," the leader of the Roman Catholic Church said.
"I do not need to go on describing the evil effects of this subtle dictatorship: you are well aware of them," he added.
In reference to the the "political independence"' gained in Latin American countries, Pope Francis said "there are factors which still threaten this equitable human development and restrict the sovereignty of the 'greater country.'"
The Pope cited what he called "the new colonialism" that he said "takes on different faces."
"At times it appears as the anonymous influence of mammon: corporations, loan agencies, certain 'free trade' treaties, and the imposition of measures of 'austerity' which always tighten the belt of workers and the poor," Pope Francis said.
Francis said that he is sensing "an expectation, a longing, a yearning for change, in people throughout the world . . . . Many people are hoping for a change capable of releasing them from the bondage of individualism and the despondency it spawns."
The Daily Caller
contends that the Pope is not calling capitalism "the dung of the devil" but idolatry.
at National Review writes that this is not the first time Pope Francis has made statements with 'traces of conspiracism' . . . in his use of the phrase 'anonymous influence' and the suggestion of dark works by 'corporations' and 'loan agencies.'"
The conservative magazine added that "the distaste for 'free trade,' complete with scare quotes of course, harks back to the Peronist preference for economic autarchy that marked the Argentina of his youth."
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