Here is what Pope Francis has to say about greed and capitalism ahead of Lent

It may be a time of year that most people associate with shunning overindulgence in the kitchen, but ahead of Lent this year, Pope Francis has decided to hit out at a different type of greed.

In the wake of news that the 62 richest people on the planet now boast the same wealth as the world's poorest 3.5bn, the Pontiff has urged the world's Catholics to "reawaken our conscience" to the realities of poverty and inequality and to rediscover humility.

The Pope's Lenten message, which was released on Tuesday, makes a thinly-veiled attack on capitalism:

The real poor are revealed as those who refuse to see themselves as [humble]. They consider themselves rich, but they are actually the poorest of the poor. This is because they are slaves to sin, which leads them to use wealth and power not for the service of God and others, but to stifle within their hearts the profound sense that they too are only poor beggars.

The greater their power and wealth, the more this blindness and deception can grow.

He also touches upon the world's seeming fascination with money and the "ideologies of monopolising thought and technoscience" which help "reduce man to raw material to be exploited".

This illusion can also be seen in the sinful structures linked to a model of false development based on the idolatry of money, which leads to lack of concern for the fate of the poor on the part of wealthier individuals and societies; they close their doors, refusing even too see the poor.

He concludes by warning that if those in power do not change their ways, things aren't looking to rosy for the afterlife...

The proud, rich and powerful will end up condemning themselves and plunging into the eternal abyss of solitude which is Hell.


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