Pope Francis criticizes global 'cult of money'

Jorge Mario Bergoglio attends his first private Mass as Pope Francis in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore on March 14, 2013 in Rome, Italy.
L'Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis has condemned the global "cult of money" and urged world leaders to do more for the poor.

In his first major speech on finance and the economy, the pontiff said money should be made to “serve” people, not to “rule” them, reported the London Telegraph.

“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 human goal,” he told foreign ambassadors in the Vatican.

He said as the gap between rich and poor was growing, the “joy of life” was diminishing in many developed countries, Al Jazeera reported.

"Solidarity, which is the treasure of the poor, is often considered counterproductive, opposed to the logic of finance and the economy. While the income of a majority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling," he said.

Pope Francis, who has always focused on the poor as a priority, encouraged political leaders to consider the words of St John Chrysostom, "Not to share one's goods with the poor is to rob them."

Meanwhile the president of the Vatican Bank, dubbed the most secretive bank in the world, announced it would publish its annual report to increase transparency, Al Jazeera reported. 

Ernst von Freyberg told the bank's employees he had also hired an auditing firm to make sure the bank meets international standards against money laundering.

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