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In 2013, Pope Francis wrote a massive statement, called an apostolic exhortation, in which he decried what he called the “idolatry of money”:

“The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption.”

From the same 2013 writing, on the theory of trickle-down economics:

“[S]ome people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacra­lized workings of the prevailing economic system.”

In a speech in Bolivia, the pope sounded off on a single-minded obsession with money. (His quoting of Saint Basil the Great resulted in a backlash, but Pope Francis defended his comments as following the tenets of the Catholic Church.):

“[B]ehind all this pain, death and destruction there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea called ‘the dung of the devil’. 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.”

WISHING you a HAPPY and reflective Sunday!

One Love,

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party


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