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'King Money' has failed humanity, Pope Francis says Comments

Fearlessly denouncing capitalism and the pursuit of financial gain, Pope Francis now says that the worship and obeisance of "King Money" has done nothing for humanity in the long run. Francis, speaking out on the issue of high youth unemployment in his first interview in his native land of Argentina this week, warned that today's "throwaway culture" had discarded a generation of young Europeans. Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 22 Comments

  1. Paul-Emile Leray
    9 months ago

    To KarlVDH: Please reread the last 3 lines of your post. You just described an economic ideology. And who would you trust to discern between 'needs' and 'wants' in your ideal system so that equal and fair distribution would take place? A benevolent dictator? Government? Bureaucracy? Christianity includes the gift of free will. Your post suggests the opposite, since someone or an entity would need to redistribute economic wealth. Yes, but how to define needs and wants? One man's nightmare is another's dream. One man's meat is another's poison. One man's treasure is another man's garbage. Free market capitalism offers people more capacity to exercise free will and discernment in the market place (non-coerced) than anything resembling communism or socialism does. When people are poor, economically, governments gain power and further oppress. I suggest a book for your reading pleasure: Christianity, Democracy, and the American Ideal by Jacques Maritain. Equal distribution ideologies presuppose that those doing the distributing have high moral integrity. Do you believe the government is filled with representatives who are all saints and geniuses? Or, rather, perhaps self-promoting loud and obnoxious, self- serving, campaigning manipulators of truth types who are worried more about re-election than governing?
    Paul-Emile Leray

  2. Tim C
    9 months ago

    Americans seem to love both God and money in equal measure, and guess what, Europeans do too!!! Surprise surprise!!! Organised religion has accommodated wealth and political and worldly power for centuries, whilst pretending not to at the same time. But the stark reality is that money is the god of this world and all that is tied to that like military, political and other kinds of worldly power. For the majority of us, we get nowhere near the wealth and power of the tiny elites that rule all countries so we probably view it all with disdain anyway.

    The Gospel message is open to all, the accumulation of vast wealth and power is open to a tiny relative few, and therefore that alone tells you that such worldly things oppose God's message and God's Kingdom. Should we say that capitalism or money is evil? I think not. How could we pay rent, buy food, pay bills etc without money. We couldn't. When it replaces God though, it becomes a big problem for Christians. '9 People who long to be rich are a prey to trial; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and harmful ambitions which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 'The love of money is the root of all evils' and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds.' (1 Timothy 6:9-10) We are not called to be capitalist businessmen, but doers and readers and preachers of the Gospel message, and to live that out in our daily lives, whatever job we do, or even if we don't have a job, and whatever wealth we have or lack, God will always supply our need but not necessarily our greed!!!

    This constant obsession with some Right wing 'Christians' to somehow tie the Gospel message with Right wing neoliberal economics and the overegging of the pudding that Christianity has just ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL WHATSOEVER WITH SOCIALISM, COMMUNISM, AND LEFT WING POLITICS, NO NOTHING AT ALL is not only demeaning and patronising it is also partially false. '44 And all who shared the faith owned everything in common; 45 they sold their goods and possessions and distributed the proceeds among themselves according to what each one needed.' (Acts 2:44-45)

    '21 Jesus said, 'If you wish to be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.'' (Matthew 19:21)

    '17 If anyone is well-off in worldly possessions and sees his brother in need but closes his heart to him, how can the love of God be remaining in him?' (1 John 3:17)

    Which political stance do they sound closest too, dear readers? But Christianity is beyond politics, I just wish to make a point that Jesus' message is often at odds with organised worldly religion and the powers that be, and even many Christians as well. Perhaps if the Right wing and wealthy stopped using Christianity to rubberstamp their own pet projects we could all take politics out of faith and get back to Jesus' message. Just a thought.

  3. Trinbagonian
    9 months ago

    "King Money"? Wait ... you think that's the only "King" not of Christ that we each have? There are more evil truths to reveal about our modern realities, ourselves. What of race and political power and religion? And the connection with "King Money" "at the center"? Globally?
    The sins gotta come out. The global weight of sin has to be lightened. It's infiltrating God's Church even and will spread evil and death if not stopped (and not a superficial stop or a little bandage ... the whole system has to be overturned from its falsehoods).

    This is The True Church. Speak Papa speak. Guide Church guide. If not you, then who? We will implode and there will not be peace. Many lives will be lost.
    Thanks Pope Francis for the hope you have brought into the world. Thank God for you and His Church. May God continue to guide you in your work. Holy Mother, pray for Pope Francis and The Church. Pray for all of us sinners. Pray that we will increase in prayer so as to be converted and repent sincerely of our sins.

  4. KarlVDH
    9 months ago

    "Nothing has done more" to raise the poor that capitalism? Seriously? A Christian said that? Get thee behind me, Satan! Ply your temptations elsewhere! You CANNOT serve God and Mammon! The ONLY thing that elevates any of us, and makes our lives tolerable in ANY and all circumstance, is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that Gospel has NOTHING to do with profit and gain; it's entirely about giving of ourselves and pooling our individual resources to be distributed among ALL according to need. That's not a political system or economic ideology; it's the Holy Bible, it's VERY clear, and it bears very,. very little resemblance to Western Capitalism at all.

  5. Uxy
    9 months ago

    I like this new Pope a lot, but there is one indisputable fact the Pope doesn't understand and that is nothing, I repeat NOTHING has done more to lift people out of poverty than capitalism. The facts are obvious and everywhere.

  6. Trinbagonian
    9 months ago

    To all of you who suggest that you know more than The Pope of The Catholic Church and/or that our beloved Pope is not doing it right, I say to you that the knowledge you share with us is of this world but not of the Eternal Word. Against The Messenger of The Holy Word, you seem a fool. Open yourselves to receive.
    To receive the message of The Eternal Word alive in the Pope's message, clean out your hearts .... PLEASE. PLEASE. I want you to hear what this man has to say. He brings Good News.

    Your words against The Church and Pope are blasphemous. They are counter-Gospel and are steeped in unclean intentions which cause scandal and divide. Purify yourselves.

    The Pope's words convey a simple message: Love. Stop trying so hard to give it a complicated finish. And follow The Message of The Eternal Word.

    God bless.

  7. Trinbagonian
    9 months ago

    P,
    I am glad that you still visit Catholics as an ex-Catholic. God is to be praised! Please stay with us and bring your ideas for we all wish to grow.

    I must caution you though to think all the way through the accusations you make of the Church please: 1.) the wealth of The Church is not all monetary, 2.) a lot has been bestowed to Her in thanksgiving to God (and thus in thanksgiving it is kept/used), 3.) a lot has so much spiritual and historical significance that no earthly price tag can truthfully be placed on it, and 4.) a lot is to point us to the One True Church (more rich in splendor and beauty than any other church, and yet more rich in charitable service than any other church) and thus, 5.) to take/lead us to God.
    It seems to me then, that you do not give an accurate picture of The Church in your accusations against Her. This is a scandal.

    Even if you do not accept that The Catholic Church is the One True Church, you must not accuse (so as to scandalize) Her for: 1.) to scandalize is wrong, 2.) you do not affirm Whatever Measure of God's Goodness you see (and you DO see some) present in His Church, and thus 3.) you sin against your soul, man, Church, and God.

    P, be careful. I have come to know in my heart, mind, and soul (my entire whole being) that The Catholic Church is the One True Church. If this is true (and you should see that there is a possibility), then your accusations are very serious.
    P, I am saying to you then to re-think and change this behavior please. It is a scandal against man, Church, God and your soul. Instead, instill in yourself a desire for Truth, peace, and honest goodwill. Pray.

    P, God bless.

  8. Paul-Emile Leray
    9 months ago

    While I often back and support the Catholic Church and our leaders, I have to say this article lacks clarity in how it is presented and therefore in how it risks being misinterpreted. A few points (17):
    1. Capitalism and "king money" are not the same. Many confuse these terms.
    2. Pope JPII once stated that similar realities are found between capitalism pushed to the extreme and communism. To me, extreme capitalism gone unbridled is a form of corporatism whereby huge entities coupled with government support look simply at the bottom line with little to no regard for the well being of the working person. Dignity in work must be recognized and kept.
    3. This idea that some suggest money is dirty is hypocritical. Apparently, the Vatican lost money in the Bernie Madoff scandal a few years ago. This means they invest. What about the problems inside the Vatican bank? It wasn't so long ago, that in some places the priests were some of the wealthiest land-owners in some agricultural areas. Furthermore, if money is so dirty then why does the collection basket get passed around on Sundays?
    4. Don't kid yourselves. The Catholic Church likes money too. Those of you sending your kids to Catholic private schools don't get that quality education for free, do you?
    5. At the end of the day, many priests have more disposable income left over than a regular common family man who is a modest professional, tradesman, or worker.
    6. When writing on issues of money, be more specific. Money is necessary in society. How else should we function? Should I bring 3 goats, 2 hens, and 1 duck to the department store when I need a new shirt, instead of cash?
    7. Capitalism, with a spirit of properly rooted ethics and heart, is great. It simply means using capital for growth which includes lifting people out of poverty. People who are economically poor are more at risk of being manipulated by politicians because they have less freedom to exercise their free wills without fear of further economic suffering.
    8. Communism and socialism? Idiots believe in this. Name one country where it has worked. It places too much power and control in the hands of the political elite who then hoard it for themselves while telling the rest of us to share and give. I would rather have exaggerated capitalism than communism or socialism. Money itself is simply a tool. It doesn't have a conscience because it belongs to material reality. Humans, however, including those in government and inside communist and socialist ones, can lead people to war. Money does no harm. Humans harm. Money does no good. Humans do good. Money is a tool. Focus on the human conscience, instead of on money when writing these types of incomplete non-analytical misleading articles.
    9. After rigorous analysis, I have come to the conclusion that the only way to not have one's hand in the 'dirty world of money' is to live as a hermit in the forest outside of society. However, then I might be sinning by omission. And why? See below.
    10. Without investment, farmers can't take out loans to put their crops into the ground each spring. Then what? We'd starve to death. Someone needs to invest.
    11. St. Aquinas, as much as I like him, was wrong on the issue of money regarding proper weights and measures. Why? It is situational. A life jacket in the middle of the Sahara has zero value. A life jacket on a sinking ship out on the high seas with fewer jackets present than people would suddenly have enormous value. Let the market decide.
    12. Even missionaries get paid for their work. I once naively thought they did it for free. Wrong. They get paid. Therefore, this sort of idea that money is evil or dirty or that we should not focus on it is hypocritical and childish. If money is not important, then how do we eat, have shelter, and walk out into the public sphere with clothing on our backs? If money isn't important, then why does the collection basket get passed around each Sunday inside Churches? When phrases like "king money" are used, let them be addressed and specifically intended and worded as such to illustrate that the message is being directed to those who need to hear it. I know of far too many good hard working Catholics, who are humble, who have a false guilt complex for making a decent wage when they should have proper pride in a spirit of thanksgiving and grace with humility while holding their heads up for making a good living. It leads to all sorts of psychological torture to guilt trip people for making money. Somebody is going to be rich. It might as well be good people, instead of bad ones. This way, the good will likely spread it around and help create things that will lift people out of poverty. Money is NOT evil. How it is attained, maintained, grown, distributed: this is where the morality or lack thereof is to be found. I wish Catholic leaders and writers would polish up their presentations when speaking about money. It is not dirty, evil, or wrong. It is simply what it is, money. How it is attained, maintained, grown, distributed: herein lies the morality or lack thereof. Nowhere else. Money has no conscience. Humans do. Therefore, why does the Vatican not put forth solid concrete examples as to how they would like people with money to distribute it? Or again, what are some great noble virtuous ways to earn money? Perhaps one example would be, earning money teaching is more virtuous than earning money selling drugs!
    13. Also, the commodities market offers more 'value' honesty than does the labour market. The labour market is what it is, but let nobody make the mistake (as I once naively believed) that one is paid what he deserves or "is worth". A pro boxer makes millions in minutes for hammering on a human's head, while a brain or heart surgeon makes a fraction of that. Pro athletes make more than fire-fighters, nurses, teachers, care-givers, engineers, and so forth. One does not often earn the value of his working contribution. It is sad, but true.
    14. True, the market is not perfect nor is it honest. However, I think it is still better than suggesting we place trust in governments who espouse a communist or socialist approach. As one Jesuit priest once told me, communism worked so well in certain parts of the world that people were leaving in boats headed for America! Only an ignorant foolish idiot would believe in communism or socialism, after everything the world has experienced at this point in history. We end up with political tyrants in communism and socialism who tell the rest of us to share, while they get fat on their political ideologies.
    15. Let us stop using the word 'capitalism' as if it is some kind of great big dirty monster. It simply means what it means.
    16. On stock markets: while far from perfect and filled with unethical ends and means, how in the world would large projects ever get off the ground were it not for stock markets? The pull and push between bulls and bears in stock markets assists in creating greater equilibrium in market valuations. How, I ask, could a more fair market value be determined without stock markets? What is useful to one is useless to another. What is important to one is meaningless to another. One man's meat is another's poison, as some say in certain parts of Africa. Your dream might be my nightmare and vice-versa. Therefore, how does one determine 'fair market value' and true, 'just value'? St. Aquinas was incomplete, in my esteem, on this point. I completely agree with what a certain Jewish American writer once wrote on this issue, until someone can prove otherwise.
    17. I see many people in religion, including in the Catholic Church, who are leaders who live lives with less economic worry than most of their parishioners do. Facts are facts.
    18. Let the Church clean up their act, on subjects of wealth and money, before guilt tripping people for having it. It is possible to have a spirit of poverty, while being rich monetarily; it is also possible to have a lust for money and misaligned spirit while being economically poor. It has to do with humility, the heart, the spirit; NOT money or wealth possession. This gets so many good people messed up and unnecessarily guilt tripped that I decided to post this blunt writing online. Without money, who is going to take care of us? We would then be attacked and guilt tripped for being welfare cases, parasites on society, beggars. Is that what Christ wants? No. And let us not forget that both St. Ignatius and St. Francis (Italy) came from wealthy families. In other words, as much as I love both of them and respect them, my critical thinking seems to be telling me that it is easier to be a beggar and become poor knowing there is something solid to fall back on in the event of a change in direction than it is to be born poor and deliberately exercise one's own free will to remain poor. After experiencing wealth, these saints chose poverty. However, they did have the luxury of knowing both. Perhaps those striving for money have never had it, therefore wish to experience it? And then, some might turn around and give it all up? And St. Ignatius, after he chose a life of austerity, still had the luxury of the support structures of the Catholic Church. In the 16th C, the Church was very powerful. Again, the common man often has less than this and yet we are made to feel guilty for wishing to earn a decent living? Nonsense. I helped a homeless lady, this week, taking her out to supper. Guess what? The priests don't give her money! Let us begin with our leaders, perhaps inspired by some such as the current Pope who seems to be showing a nice example, showing some humility and stripping themselves of some of the pomp that comes along with their positions. Most in religion live a more comfortable life than many of their parishioners. I am simply stating observable reality, as I see it. Perhaps I am wrong, but I felt compelled to write what I did.
    Paul-Emile Leray

  9. John Smith
    9 months ago

    Catholicism and the Republican party's economic agenda should not be equated. Sorry if that leaves you cold. Loaves and Fishes.

  10. fallen saint
    9 months ago

    Our Holy Father did not state Capitalism is wrong, he stated "king" money is wrong. As Christians of course........ he is 100% right. The Pope just said, we cannot have a society where money is the main or only focus. That is normal Christian philosophy, we believe Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only King. Pope Francis is calling on all those with a vocation in business to be ethical and compassionate. Thats it.......plain and simple. If God has called you into a vocation in business. God has given you a great calling, not only to take care of your employees but also remember that you are also called to take care of their families. With the slow distruction of mom and pop businesses, global corporporations have taken over. The personal relationship between employers and employees has been lost. Business has turned employees to faceless numbers. Where money is "king" and it is right to destroy lives for its worship. Our Holy Father has one simple requested....... for those who have been called by God to have a vocation in business. He wants us to be ethical and compassionate. We are all called to be Saints, even those called to a vocation in business. If we follow Gods law and understand money is not king.............. then we will do Gods work.

    May God Bless and Protect Our Holy Father


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