Pope Francis on Thursday urged the downtrodden to change the world economic order, denouncing a “new colonialism” by agencies that impose austerity programs and calling for the poor to have the “sacred rights” of labor, lodging and land.
In one of the longest, most passionate and sweeping speeches of his pontificate, the Argentine-born pope also asked forgiveness for the sins committed by the Roman Catholic Church in its treatment of native Americans during what he called the “so-called conquest of America.”
Quoting a fourth century bishop, he called the unfettered pursuit of money “the dung of the devil, ” and said poor countries should not be reduced to being providers of raw material and cheap labor for developed countries.
Repeating some of the themes of his landmark encyclical “Laudato Si” on the environment last month, Francis said time was running out to save the planet from perhaps irreversible harm to the ecosystem.
Francis made the address to participants of the second world meeting of popular movements, an international body that brings together organizations of people on the margins of society, including the poor, the unemployed and peasants who have lost their land. The Vatican hosted the first meeting last year…. READ MORE
SANTA CRUZ, BOLIVIA | BY PHILIP PULLELLA AND SARAH MARSH