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St. John Paul’s warnings about capitalism have come to pass, Pope Francis tells business leaders

Catholic Culture January 16, 2017

Pope Francis received members of the Global Foundation on January 14 and called upon business leaders to imitate St. Teresa of Calcutta by overcoming indifference to the poor.

The Global Foundation is an Australian organization founded in 1998 by Prime Minister John Howard and Michael Camdessus of the International Monetary Fund. It conducts conferences devoted to global economic issues.

Mother Teresa “was accepting of every human life, whether unborn or abandoned and discarded, and she made her voice heard by the powers of this world, calling them to acknowledge the crimes of poverty that they themselves were responsible for,” the Pope said in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace. “This is the first attitude leading to fraternal and cooperative globalization.”

Calling upon financial and political leaders “not merely to control and monitor the effects of globalization,” but even more “to correct its orientation whenever necessary,” the Pope said that St. John Paul II’s warnings about capitalism in his encyclical letter Centesimus Annus have “largely come to pass.”

Pope Francis stated:

In 1991, Saint John Paul II, responding to the fall of oppressive political systems and the progressive integration of markets that we have come to call globalization, warned of the risk that an ideology of capitalism would become widespread.

This would entail little or no interest for the realities of marginalization, exploitation and human alienation, a lack of concern for the great numbers of people still living in conditions of grave material and moral poverty, and a blind faith in the unbridled development of market forces alone. My predecessor asked if such an economic system would be the model to propose to those seeking the road to genuine economic and social progress, and offered a clearly negative response.