It’s getting harder not to like this guy – Published on Axis of Logic, by Naomi O’Leary, Nov 26, 2013.
Pope Francis called for renewal of the Roman Catholic Church and attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny”, urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff.
The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, amounted to an official platform for his papacy, building on views he has aired in sermons and remarks since he became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years in March.
In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry of money” and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare”.
He also called on rich people to share their wealth. “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,” Francis wrote in the document issued on Tuesday.
“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses 2 points?”
The pope said renewal of the Church could not be put off and said the Vatican and its entrenched hierarchy “also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion”.
“I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” he wrote.
In July, Francis finished an encyclical begun by Pope Benedict but he made clear that it was largely the work of his predecessor, who resigned in February.
Called “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel), the exhortation is presented in Francis’ simple and warm preaching style, distinct from the more academic writings of former popes, and stresses the Church’s central mission of preaching “the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ”.
In it, he reiterated earlier statements that the Church cannot ordain women or accept abortion. The male-only priesthood, he said, “is not a question open to discussion” but women must have more influence in Church leadership.
POVERTY: … //
… He chose to be called “Francis” after the medieval Italian saint of the same name famed for choosing a life of poverty.
Stressing cooperation among religions, Francis quoted the late Pope John Paul II’s idea that the papacy might be reshaped to promote closer ties with other Christian churches and noted lessons Rome could learn from the Orthodox such as “synodality” or decentralized leadership.
He praised cooperation with Jews and Muslims and urged Islamic countries to guarantee their Christian minorities the same religious freedom as Muslims enjoy in the West.
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Democracy Now’s daily independent global news hour, Nov 27, 2013, 11.08 min – and Democracy Now’s: Past shows (monthly archives, 1996-2013: headlines for alternative concerns); NSA page;
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Video: Leaked Memo Reveals U.S. Plan to Oppose Helping Poor Nations Adapt to Climate Change, 58.56 min, on Democracy Now, Nov 19, 2013;
Make Harper pay for his environmental crimes, on Yves Engeler, by blog owner, Nov 18, 2013.