by David Safier
I'm not one to quote popes, but these words from Pope Francis deserve to be spotlighted as a positive indication of the man he may be and the tone he might set.
“If investments in the banks fail, ‘Oh, it’s a tragedy,’ ” he said, speaking extemporaneously for more than 40 minutes at a Pentecost vigil last weekend, after a private audience with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the architect of Europe’s austerity policies. “But if people die of hunger or don’t have food or health, nothing happens. This is our crisis today.”
In a recent speech to diplomats accredited to the Holy See, Francis also spoke of the need for more ethics in finance.
“The financial crisis which we are experiencing makes us forget that its ultimate origin is to be found in a profound human crisis,” he said, adding: “We have created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.”
Ethics in finance. The cult of money akin to worship of the golden calf. And "the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.” To indicate these weren't throwaway lines, Francis told Father Lombardi before the speech to diplomats, "Pay attention, this is important. I want people to understand it’s important."
The thought that a Pope might emphasize the "the cult of money" rather than focusing his papal authority on abortion and birth control to the exclusion of the problems of poverty is encouraging. Let's hope he keeps it up and others who are supposed to be moral leaders follow suit.