Unlock Premium Data: Up to 50% Off InvestingProCLAIM SALE

Pope pledges to continue being a 'pest' in defence of the poor

Published 10/16/2021, 10:50 AM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis attends the weekly general audience at the Paul VI Audience Hall, at the Vatican, October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photo/File Photo

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Saturday he realises some people, including within the Church, consider him to be "a pest" for defending the poor and most vulnerable, but that it won't stop him as it is part of Christianity.

"Thinking about these situations (of exclusion and inequality), I make a pest of myself with my questions. And I go on asking. And I ask everyone in the name of God," said Francis, Latin America's first pope.

He called on pharmaceutical companies to release patents to make vaccines for COVID-19 more available to the poor, noting that only 3%-4% of the population in some countries had been vaccinated.

Francis, 84, was speaking by video link to the World Meeting of Popular Movements, a grouping of grassroots organisations and social movements which bring attention to inequality in labour, land ownership, health care and other social issues in the developing world.

He called on industries such as mining and lumber, "to stop destroying forests, wetlands and mountains, to stop polluting rivers and seas, to stop poisoning food and people".

Francis said rich countries and financial institutions should cancel the debts of the poorest nations. Weapons manufacturers and dealers should to stop contributing "to those awful geopolitical games which cost millions of displaced lives and millions of dead."

Technology giants should stop allowing hate speech, fake news, conspiracy theories, and political manipulation, he said, and called for a universal basic income and for countries to consider shortening the work day so more people could have jobs.

"This system, with its relentless logic of profit, is escaping all human control. It is time to slow the locomotive down, an out-of-control locomotive hurtling towards the abyss. There is still time," he said. "And so, I persist in my pestering."

He referred to criticism he has received in the past, especially from U.S. church conservatives, when he has issued similar appeals.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis attends the weekly general audience at the Paul VI Audience Hall, at the Vatican, October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photo/File Photo

"It saddens me that some members of the Church get annoyed when we mention these guidelines that belong to the full tradition of the Church," he said referring to a compendium of Catholic social teaching issued by Pope John Paul II in 2004.

"But the pope must not stop mentioning this teaching, even if it often annoys people, because what is at stake is not the pope but the Gospel," he said.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.