Pope Francis condemns greed and ‘thirst for profit’

Pontiff tells Globsec forum ‘inclusive and sustainable’ model is key for post-pandemic progress

Pope Francis has condemned global inequality and a world driven by a "thirst for profit" that exploits people.

The Pope, who decried the abuse of natural resources, was explaining how recovery efforts from Covid-19 required an acknowledgement of the "systemic failures" before the pandemic took hold.

“Getting up after any fall requires facing the reasons why we fell and acknowledging the extent to which we ourselves were responsible,” he told the Globsec 2021 Bratislava Forum.

“What I see is a world that allowed itself to be duped by a false and arrogant sense of security based on thirst for profit.

“I see a model of economic and social life marked by many forms of inequality and selfishness where a tiny minority of the world population possesses most of its wealth and does not hesitate to exploit people and resources,” the head of the Catholic Church said via videolink.

He criticised the lack of concern for the environment and destruction “at will” of “what is the property of all”. As a result, he said an “ecological debt” would be borne by future generations and those less wealthy.

Looking ahead, the Pope said the world must take advantage of the current situation.

“The crisis has reminded us that no one is saved alone,” he said. “It points us towards a future in which the equality of every human being is acknowledged not only in theory but in practice, providing individuals and people with equal and real opportunities for development.”

But he warned a failure to act would squander any chances provided by the pandemic.

Addressing the forum in the Slovakian capital, the Pope said he hoped for a “model of recovery capable of generating more inclusive and sustainable solutions … a model of development based on the peaceful coexistence and on harmony with all creation”.

A relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions in Italy meant the Papal summer retreat palace of Castel Gandolfo in the Alban Hills near Rome reopened earlier this month, although Pope Francis remained in Vatican City.

He previously urged the global community to ensure the poorest countries were able to get Covid-19 vaccines.

On Monday, the Pope said that poverty “is not the result of fate” but because of “selfishness”.