Pope Francis takes aim at capitalism

"A fallacious economic model that has been followed for too long"

Pope Francis. (Credit: Bohumil Petrik/CNA.)

Pope Francis Friday offered a critique of capitalism’s impact on the environment, calling for a response that hears “the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.”

“The precarious condition of our common home has been the result largely of a fallacious economic model that has been followed for too long,” Pope Francis said May 3.

Francis called this economic model “profit-oriented, shortsighted, and based on the misconception of unlimited economic growth,” and said that it results in a “disastrous impact on the natural world.”

“Economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to […] the pursuit of financial gain, which fail to take the context into account, let alone the effects on human dignity and the natural environment,” he said.

The pope said that the effort and the struggle to protect the environment is “an ecumenical journey” that challenges “us to think and act as members of one common home.”

“Religious traditions have always presented temperance as a key component of responsible and ethical lifestyle,” he said. “Moderation is also vital to save our common home. ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.’”

Full story at Catholic News Agency.


  1. This capitalist will not be giving a penny to “Peter’s Pence”.
    I am sure that he does want my dirty money.


    I pray that the Holy Father has a clearer and deeper knowledge of theology than he has of economic theory.

    • Absolutely agree and am waiting to hear about the 4 Last Things, rather than global warming and plastic straws in the ocean.

    • Anonymous says

      This has nothing to do with economic theory. And yes he obviously does have a clearer and deeper knowledge of theology. It includes the 4 Last Things, which if you recall are death, judgement, Heaven and Hell. If you really thinking of those things you wouldn’t be criticizing the pope. And you would realize that you can be judged, just like the rich man, for ignoring the poor and harming other people through greed (one of the seven deadly sins) We do really need better cateceisis.

      • And we are to depend on you for “better catechesis” ?

        Who said that I am ignoring the plight of the poor? You know nothing of what I do for the poor.
        Therefore, I would suggest that you look at that “judgement” thing about yourself.


      Thanks for the condescending sermon, O Holier than Thou One. You might try examining your own conscience rather than others’.

      • Anonymous says

        I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. If people are mean to the Pope, they will be mean to others too.

  3. Anonymous says

    Same old boring stuff from this pope. Yawn…

  4. Lou Varini says

    If it were not for the economic benefits (and resultant surpluses allowing for charitable generosity) of capitalism, the “voluntary” charitable giving would dry up.

    There is also the “involuntary” giving through forced taxation, where the proceeds go to so-called “social programs.”

    Capitalism, when properly dispensed, provides for feeding the hungry, clothing the poor and atteending to the sick.

    Don’t be so fast in judging and complaining about those whose help you need.

  5. Ok HF, give us the better model.

    Oh, wait, you don’t actually have one. Just platitudes.

    Anybody else remember when the Pope was primarily occupied with the Seven Sacraments and Salvation??

    • Anonymous says

      This was about mining (not capitalism). His better model is:to extract minerals in a way that takes into consideration the common good. His better model is temperance and moderation rather than recklessly depleting resources.

  6. Bob One says

    It’s possible that the Pontiff is seeing the unintended consequences of the best economic system in the history of the world. We have seen the disasters of communism and ultra-socialism. But, and it’s a big but, we have also seen the evidence of putting maximum profit over all else. We currently have a massive divide between the top 1% of our population and the rest of the country, We see how profit drives the unfettered use of our natural resources. We see how the drive for growth and profit cause poverty for too many millions. We saw what the banks did to cause the great recession. We need to find an equilibrium between profit and the good life for people.

    • bohemond says

      As for the great recession there is plenty of blame to go around… and yes the government had huge amount of it…

    • Anonymous says

      Bob One, participants in this came from all over the world, including China. The pope did not a criticize any economic system. It was an encouragement to mining companies to take the common good into consideration and not just exploit resources, harm cultures and damage the environment to make greater profits.

  7. I’m sure the faithful in Venezuela really appreciate their socialism.

  8. Barbara says

    This man needs to retire NOW. Every time you think it can’t get worse with him, it does.

  9. Ann Malley says

    PF should concern himself with the fallacious religious model that people of Faith can easily see through when viewing his pontificate. Sadly, the intended consequence of the Holy Father misusing his position as pope is undermining his integrity with every word he utters.

  10. Simon of Simony says

    Holy Father, this orgsnization composed of Catholic business men and women are successful through the principles of capitalism and free-enterprise, so much so that they provide financial support to the Church’s works:


    This is also the same organization that withheld its 2018 tithe to the Holy See because of questionable financial practices under the Holy See’s oversight.

  11. Katie S, says

    The Holy Father needs to be mindful about Matt 7, 3-5 – “Why do you look at the spec of dust in tour brother’s eye, and pay no attention to the beam in your own?”

    Here is perfect example from the National Catholic Register:


    • Anonymous says

      I do not think the Pope is unmindful of the beam and it is his job to point out the specks and the beams in others.


        Oh, really? Has Francis called to task Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga [who, by the way, HATES the USA] for his annual self-appropriation of $600,000 from the Catholic University of Honduras? Selective criticism and blame-gaming once again. Perhaps Francis forgives the good Cardinal because he doesn’t view the $600,000 as a “profit”. And in a way he’d be right—-see, unlike profits made by capitalists, Maradiaga didn’t have to do any work to get it. A true example of “clericalism”.

  12. Abp. Paul Casimir Marcinkus says

    The stream of funds coming from capitalists and capitalist (market driven) countries, however, is welcome by the Church, from the individual parishes to the Holy See and its banking arm the Institute of Religious Works, a/k/a the Vatican Bank.

  13. Anonymous says

    Communist countries destroy the environment the most. Dictators do not care about children being poisoned with mercury and arsenic. They do not have to answer to the people. The people of free countries do not want to breathe poisoned air or drink poisoned water. Therefore, the governments they establish aim to protect the environment. A fourth grader could understand this.

  14. Pope never used the word “capitalism” the CNA author did. Very disingenuous. But, clicks = ad revenue (or today’s 30 pieces of silver).

    • Anonymous says

      Thank you for pointing this out. He was not criticizing capitalism at all.

    • Milton Friedman says

      He didn’t have to. The description used by the Holy Father (profit driven) in the original CNA article was more than a sufficient substitute than the actual word “capitalism.”

  15. Red Francis rides again, even as his economic ideals play out in Venezuela. Also Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, South Africa, China, Russia, Detroit, Baltimore, San Francisco, etc. And so it goes.

  16. Anonymous says

    I know there are a lot of internet websites and other public entities who have taken it upon themselves to undermine Pope Francis. Although we know that the real culprit is the devil, some have been duped into thinking that what they do actually serves the Church. Would any of you anti-Francis-ers be so kind as to tell me where you were first alerted to problems with Pope Francis? Where is your current information coming from?

    • Anonymous, at the risk of being facetious here, they were first alerted to problems with the Holy Father the moment he emerged from the balcony after having just been elected, and their seeing him NOT wearing the red papal mozzetta and embroidered papal stole that newly-elected popes wear at their first appearance. Then *gasp* the new Pontiff asked them to pray for him! Such horrors! Certainly not to be trusted, this Argentine impostor. You see, because he didn’t humor them by bowing even to this bit of papal tradition, he is immediately suspect. Then, everything else he did and said and wrote, were all given this negative hue.

      • Anonymous says

        Thank you for your answer. I hope others will answer too. I promise I will not rebut or criticize your comments. I really am sincere in wanting to know each individual’s experience.

  17. Anonymous says

    Nobody read the article. And no one will admit it. Stop being puppets.

  18. Anonymous says

    The Pope is often poor at religion– but I think he is correct on this subject– there is TOO MUCH EXPLOITATATION and GREED in the world!! And Christian Morality is disappearing in Western civilization! All for “Me!”— “my “human rights” to “my illicit pleasures (and kill the baby afterwards!)” “my sky-high achievements,” “my huge bank account” and GREED!!! “All for the Glory of Radical, Politically-Correct, Immature Modern Hipster:ME!!!– I am the Greatest Thing in all creation!!”

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