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Pope denounces ‘poison’ of consumerism in ‘society based on profit’

By on Monday, 5 August 2013

Pope Francis waves after leading Angelus at Vatican (CNS)

Pope Francis waves after leading Angelus at Vatican (CNS)

Pope Francis has denounced consumerism as a poison that threatens true happiness, which comes from membership of the church.

The Pope made his remarks yesterday before praying the Angelus with a noon crowd in St Peter’s Square.

Pope Francis said: “The encounter with the living Jesus, in the great family that is the church, fills the heart with joy, because it fills it with true life, a profound goodness that does not pass away or decay.

“But this experience must face the daily vanity, the poison of emptiness that insinuates itself into our society based on profit and having (things), that deludes young people with consumerism,” he said.

Pope Francis continued: “Young people are particularly sensitive to the emptiness of meaning and values that surrounds them. And they, unfortunately, pay the consequences.

“True wealth is the love of God, shared with one’s brothers, that love that comes from God and makes us share among ourselves, and makes us help one another. He who experiences this does not fear death, and receives peace of heart.”

The Pope also reflected on the Mass he celebrated in Rio de Janeiro, the culminating event of World Youth Day, which drew an estimated 3 million people to Copacabana beach.

“World Youth days are not ‘fireworks,’ moments of enthusiasm that end with themselves,” he said. “The youth are not following the Pope, they are following Jesus Christ, bearing his cross.”

  • Kevin Beach

    ” … which comes from membership of the church.”

    “The encounter with the living Jesus, in the great family that is the church …”

    Am I having a theological wobble, or is this bordering on Ecclesiolatry?

  • TRH

    Have you not read, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” And: ” he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”

    The Church is the body of Christ, and also his bride. The Church is where one encounters Jesus lovingly through the Sacraments.

  • NatOns

    In fact, the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church is Jesus Christ in Person – of one flesh with His People, His Bride; hence there is no other name (than His) by which we may be saved (from alienation, sin, and damnation before the divine Judgement).

    “Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’He asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Acts 9 : 3-5.

    If we properly show latreia toward the Lord our God, Jesus Christ, not simply douleia or merely diakonia then His one body with one Spirit must somehow share in that honour .. even if only in serving Him as worship by serving our brethren in love (for He is that Love).

    God bless our Pope!

    PS: Would that he were as diligent in proclaiming the rest of the Faith, on morality – as this is, rather than leaving it to some vaguely presupposed environment of Catholic belief .. that needs no defence, affirmation or teaching.

  • KennethKrieger

    The Pope could use the useless paintings as collateral to buy businesses whose profit would come back to the church to help the poor. I understand the Pope has no quarrel with gay priests. What about married priests? No profit caused all Soviet Union to collapse. Not allowing married priests will cause the church to collapse. Kenneth Krieger Cape Coral, Florida, USA

  • Fang Zhou

    What could be more orthodox than finding Jesus in the (great family that is) the church???

  • tjk52

    Well I agree about the consumerism part

  • Jeff

    What a great pope, surely the man depicted in the third secret of Fatima. has the scoop.

  • Julian Lord

    The Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ.

  • Julian Lord

    Sorry mate, your outdated 1970s ideology is well past its sell-by date …

  • pbecke

    The Huttites have lived for four hundred years under a form of communism, communal sharing.

    On its demise, for far more complex reasons than you adduce, Soviet Communism seems to have left in its wake a far better environment for Christianity to flourish than capitalism, with its attendant idolatries and decadence, if the US and the UK are any guide.

    Moreover, should the catastrophic economic collapse caused by Western materialism (actual, despite the formal religiosity of its ruling class) which seems now unavoidable, eventuate, the US public will be in a far worse position than the Russians ever were. Already you have 750,000 homeless on any one night, as a result of the demi-monde of sub-prime mortgage sales. Take your pick of these Google search finds:,or.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=c17fd8c85f8748ab&q=us+homeless+mortgage+

    The Russians were almost all able to stay in their homes, possession passing to them automatically.

  • KennethKrieger

    It is unfortunate that many of us including myself reach for religion in times of crisis like the new ability to worship in the Soviet Union. Our sub prime housing crisis was caused by laws passed by the Democrat Party whom behave like socialists, communists, or any other centrally controlled government entity that allowed people to take out home mortgages without good credit rating and a qualifying income. I believe in the industry of all people and using the temporary helping hand of charity. I trust no government because they want to control our lives and they cause all of the financial panics. Governments waste our tax dollars. The less taxes we give them, the more jobs we will create. Jobs create more jobs, while poverty creates more poverty. Kenneth Krieger Cape Coral, Florida. USA