Francis calls for 'ethical' reform of financial system

"There is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone," Pope Francis told a group of ambassadors Thursday. "Money has to serve, not to rule."

"Tthe majority of the men and women of our time continue to live daily in situations of insecurity, with dire consequences," Francis said. "... People have to struggle to live and, frequently, to live in an undignified way."

His comments were published by Vatican Radio.

Pope Francis said in his opinion, one cause of this situation is our relationship with money and our acceptance of its power over ourselves and our society. Consequently, he added, the financial crisis we are in makes us forget that its ultimate origin is found in a profound human crisis.

He continued by saying the worship of the golden calf of old has a new image, one "in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal."

Our societies, Francis noted, are becoming throwaway ones, and worse still, he added, "human beings themselves are nowadays considered as consumer goods which can be used and thrown away."

Stressing the need for financial reform along ethical lines, the pope noted it would require a courageous change of attitude on the part of political leaders, and he urged them to face this challenge with determination and farsightedness, taking account of their particular situations.

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