Pope Francis warned about the possible collapse of the world economy, saying that “our world economic system can’t take it anymore” in an interview with La Vanguardia magazine.
The Pope based his dire belief on the idea that the world economy has fallen into the sin of idolatry, not of a golden calf, but of money. He explained that the center of the economy needs to be about man and woman. Pope Francis warned that the economy was now dependent on war, that great powers have been using war as a means of sustaining the current system.
“But as a Third World War can’t be done, they make zonal wars. What does this mean? That they produce and sell weapons, and with this the balance sheets of the idolatrous economies, the great world economies that sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money, obviously they are sorted.”
The Pope did not name specific conflicts or economic powers when discussing the world economy.
This is not the first time the Pope has made waves with his economic views. In November last year, Pope Francis denounced “trickle-down” economics, saying it was encouraging “a new tyranny.” He also made numerous denunciations of inequality in the economy.
In a recent Tweet Pope Francis warns:
Inequality is the root of social evil.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 28, 2014
In Pope Francis’ address to a delegation of UN officials, he said a contribution to equitable social and economic progress will be made by “the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state.” Naturally, the word “redistribution” has a poisonous undertone for modern conservative economic thought.
Conservative pundits have since blasted the Pope calling him a socialist and saying he exceeded the mandate of his office by proposing the redistribution of wealth.
Nevertheless, criticism has not silenced the Bishop of Rome.
One of his principal concerns is the rise of unemployment in the world. He said that the estimated 75 million young Europeans without employment was an atrocity.
“We are discarding an entire generation to maintain an economic system that can’t hold up anymore.”
The Pope also accused the modern economic culture of discarding the elderly, saying that in throwing away the elderly and the young, the future of a people is lost.
There is now little doubt about where Pope Francis stands on the economy, but what does that mean for the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics? In their eyes, the Pope is infallible, a direct channel to God whose wisdom cannot be questioned. At least, those are the rules according to the tenets of Catholicism.
In reality, economically conservative Catholics have been ignoring the Pope or mincing his words to harmonize what are now two contradictory belief systems.
Will this reality continue or will the Pope’s warning about the economy change the minds of millions of people?