By Daniel Burke. Pope Francis delivered a fiery denunciation of modern capitalism on Thursday night, calling the “unfettered pursuit of money” the “dung of the devil” and accusing world leaders of “cowardice” for refusing to defend the earth from exploitation.
Speaking to grassroots organizers in Bolivia, the Pope called on the poor and disenfranchised to rise up against “new colonialism,” including corporations, loan agencies, free trade treaties, austerity measures, and “the monopolizing of the communications media.”
Here’s what one prominent American priest had to say about the speech:
Pope Francis in Bolivia just used the strongest language I can remember a pope using about the rights of the poor and of social justice.
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) July 9, 2015
There is quite a lot to unpack in the speech, including the Pope’s apology for the “many grave sins” committed by Catholic Church against Native Americans “in the name of God.” (Read more from “Pope Receives Crucifix in Form of Hammer and Sickle, Makes Marxist Statements in Bolivia” HERE)
Pope Receives Crucifix in form of Hammer and Sickle from Bolivian President
By Jonathan Watts. Vatican officials appear to have been flummoxed after Pope Francis was presented with a communist crucifix depicting Jesus nailed to a hammer and sickle by Bolivia’s president Evo Morales.
The gift from the leftwing leader caused an immediate stir among conservative Catholics who said the pontiff was being manipulated for ideological reasons.
The response of the pope was less clear. After being handed the wooden crucifix during a formal ceremony, he examined it for a few seconds before returning it to a Bolivian presidential aide.
His comments were largely drowned out by a flurry of camera clicks, prompting a flood of speculation. While some have claimed he expressed irritation, muttering the words “eso no está bien” (“this is not right”), Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the pope was more likely to have uttered “eso no sabía bien” (“I didn’t know that”) in bemusement at the origins of the present.
The Bolivian government insisted there was no political motive behind the gift. Communications minister Marianela Paco said Morales had thought the “pope of the poor” would appreciate the gesture. (Read more from this story HERE)