In a 10-minute speech to four new ambassadors to the Vatican on Thursday, Pope Francis made scathing comments on the state of the world economy, calling for global reform that focuses on human dignity.
The Catholic News Service reports that the Pope’s remarks placed the cause of global social and economic problems “....in our relationship with money and our acceptance of its power over ourselves and our society”. The Pope continued: "We have created new idols" [where 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 humane goal."
Vermont Independent U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders says the pontiff’s comments must be discussed.
Pope Francis reinforced a point often made by Vermont’s junior senator - that the rich are getting richer, and the poor poorer, stating "We have begun this culture of disposal [where] human beings themselves are nowadays considered as consumer goods which can be used and thrown away."
While he has not seen nor read the speech, Central Vermont Community Action Council Executive Director Hal Cohen is among the advocates for the low-income population who find the Catholic leader’s words encouraging.
Cohen says the federal sequestration is an illustration.
The Vermont Foodbank distributes food to 270 assistance centers across the state, feeding more than 86,000 Vermonters. CEO John Sayles is pleased the Pope is taking the lead in changing the conversation about what’s happening to people.
Former NYS Office for the Aging Director Michael Burgess, a Catholic, is active in Call to Action, a group working to make the church more open and inclusive. Burgess says Pope Francis’ comments aren’t surprising considering his history.
The pontiff called for global financial reforms that make people a priority.