Pope Francis threw out his prepared Mass on Sunday to make an improvised address on unemployment and the suffering caused by a world economy that worships “this god called money.”
Francis spoke with unemployed workers in the Sardinian capital of Cagliari. After listening to the story of Francesco Mattana, a 45-year-old father of three who lost his job with an alternative energy company four years ago, Francis changed his prepared speech to address the suffering of the unemployed.
“I find suffering here ... It weakens you and robs you of hope,” Pope Francis said before a crowd of 20,000 people. “Excuse me if I use strong words, but where there is no work there is no dignity.”
“We don’t want this globalized economic system which does us so much harm,” he continued. “Men and women have to be at the center [of economic systems] as God wants, not money.”
The unemployment rate for Cagliari’s youth is about 51 percent. Pope Francis said it wasn’t only a local crisis.
“It is not a problem of Italy and Europe,” he said. “It is the consequence of a world choice, of an economic system that brings about this tragedy, an economic system that has at its centre an idol which is called money.”
He told the cheering crowd that he had no coming to be a “cordial manager of the Church who comes here and says to you ‘have courage.’”
“I don’t want this. I want this courage to come from inside me and push me to do everything I can as a pastor and a man.”
He spoke of a “hidden euthanasia” in society, where people are thrown away simply because they are not considered productive by the economy.
“To defend this economic culture, a throwaway culture has been installed,” he said. “We throw away grandparents, and we throw away young people. We have to say no to his throwaway culture. We want a just system that helps everyone.”