“You see,” some said after the America interview, “he’s just not a culture warrior.” I say, make no mistake about it: Pope Francis is a culture warrior. But he has chosen to do battle with very different aspects of the culture than some would prefer.
Here’s a sampling of this morning’s headlines, following yesterday’s pastoral visit to Sardinia, during which, as Reuters put it, “Pope Francis made one of his strongest attacks on the global economic system”:
(On the other hand, the guy is not Tarzan.)
The full text of the comments that garnered such headlines, as well as some video, is here. They included these remarks:
It is a form of suffering, the shortage of work — that leads you — excuse me if I am coming over a little strong but I am telling the truth — to feel that you are deprived of dignity! Where there is no work there is no dignity! And this is not only a problem in Sardinia — but it is serious here! — it is not only a problem in Italy or in certain European countries, it is the result of a global decision, of an economic system which leads to this tragedy; an economic system centred on an idol called “money”.
God did not want an idol to be at the centre of the world but man, men and women who would keep the world going with their work. Yet now, in this system devoid of ethics, at the centre there is an idol and the world has become an idolater of this “god-money”.
Money is in command! Money lays down the law! It orders all these things that are useful to it, this idol. And what happens? To defend this idol all crowd to the centre and those on the margins are done down, the elderly fall away, because there is no room for them in this world!… To defend this idolatrous economic system the “culture of waste” has become established; grandparents are thrown away and young people are thrown away. And we must say “no” to this “culture of waste”. We must say “we want a just system! A system that enables everyone to get on”. We must say: “we don’t want this globalized economic system which does us so much harm!”. Men and women must be at the centre as God desires, and not money!