"When capitalism makes the seeking of profit its only purpose, it runs the risk of becoming an idolatrous framework, a form of worship" that produces " discarded people, then trying to hide them or make sure they are never seen", said Pope Francis, calling for a "change in the rules of the economic-social system" in favor of a "communion" economy, which "gives life, because it shares, including the poor, it uses the profits to create communion".
An audience on the "Economy of Communion", organized by the Focolare
Movement gave Pope Francis the opportunity to reiterate the need to
change an economy that neglects man and worships money as a god, "a
surrogate of eternal life". " “Individual products (cars, telephones
...) get old and wear out, but if I have money or credit, I can
immediately buy others, deluding myself of conquering death.”
In the logic of communion, the Pope also condemned cheating on taxes
and evasion, which, "before being illegal acts are acts that deny the
basic law of life: mutual care".
First, he said, you must guard against making an idol of money. "
Money is important, especially when there is none, and food, school, and
the children’s future depend on it. But it becomes an idol when it
becomes the aim. Greed, which by no coincidence is a capital sin, is the
sin of idolatry because the accumulation of money per se becomes the
aim of one’s own actions. When capitalism makes the seeking of profit
its only purpose, it runs the risk of becoming an idolatrous framework, a
form of worship. The ‘goddess of fortune’ is increasingly the new
divinity of a certain finance and of the whole system of gambling which
is destroying millions of the world’s families, and which you rightly
oppose. This idolatrous worship is a surrogate for eternal life.
Individual products (cars, telephones ...) get old and wear out, but if I
have money or credit I can immediately buy others, deluding myself of
conquering death. "
Thus, one understands the ethical and spiritual value of your choice
to pool profits. The best and most practical way to avoid making an idol
of money is to share it with others, above all with the poor”." Always
remember that you can not serve two masters, two masters and that "the
devil comes from the pockets."
He went on to address the subject of poverty. The Pope noted that
there have always been forms of aid to the poor, but despite the help,
those rejected by society "remain many."
"Today we have invented other
ways to care for, to feed, to teach the poor, and some of the seeds of
the Bible have blossomed into more effective institutions than those of
the past. The rationale for taxes also lies in this solidarity, which is
negated by tax avoidance and evasion which, before being illegal acts,
are acts which deny the basic law of life: mutual care".
Francis denounced that capitalism "continues to produce discarded
people whom it would then like to care for."
"The principal ethical
dilemma of this capitalism is the creation of discarded people, then
trying to hide them or make sure they are no longer seen. A serious form
of poverty in a civilization is when it is no longer able to see its
poor, who are first discarded and then hidden." "Aircraft pollute the
atmosphere, but, with a small part of the cost of the ticket, they will
plant trees to compensate for part of the damage created. Gambling
companies finance campaigns to care for the pathological gamblers that
they create. And the day that the weapons industry finances hospitals to
care for the children mutilated by their bombs, the system will have
reached its pinnacle. This is hypocrisy. "
Countering all of this, he said is the economy of communion that
never discards the person. For the Pope, " we must work toward changing
the rules of the game of the socio-economic system. Imitating the Good
Samaritan of the Gospel is not enough. The great work to do is "try not
to lose the active principle" that drives the economy of communion,
focusing on quality, not quantity. "Every time people, peoples and even
the Church have thought of saving the world in numbers, they have
produced power structures, forgetting the poor. We save our economy by
being simply salt and leaven: a difficult job, because everything
deteriorates with the passing of time. "
The Economy of Communion – he continued - will have a future if you
give it to everyone and it does not remain only inside your ‘house’.
Give it to everyone, firstly to the poor and the young, who are those
who need it most and know how to make the gift received bear fruit!".
"Capitalism knows philanthropy, not communion. It is simple to give a
part of the profits, without embracing and touching the people who
receive those ‘crumbs’. Instead, even just five loaves and two fishes
can feed the multitude if they are the sharing of all our life. In the
logic of the Gospel, if one does not give all of himself, he never gives
enough of himself."
“May the ‘no’ to an economy that kills become a
‘yes’ to an economy that lets live, because it shares, includes the
poor, uses profits to create communion.”