Pope Francis Warns Davos "Humanity Is Served By Wealth; Not Ruled By It"

Tyler Durden's picture

Having been outspoken over capitalism and the rise of income inequality; for the first time, an address from the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics was read to the political and business elites at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Pope Francis pulled no punches as he implored attendees to remember that "humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it," and called for "decisions, mechanisms and processes directed to a better distribution of wealth." The guilt-ridden tone was heavy as The Holy See admonished, "I wish to emphasize the importance that the various political and economic sectors have in promoting an inclusive approach which takes into consideration the dignity of every human person and the common good. I am referring to a concern that ought to shape every political and economic decision, but which at times seems to be little more than an after-thought."


Via The Vatican,

To Professor Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum:

I am very grateful for your kind invitation to address the annual meeting of the WorldEconomic Forum, which, as is customary, will be held at Davos-Klosters at the end of this month. Trusting that the meeting will provide an occasion for deeper reflection on the causes of the economic crisis affecting the world these past few years, I would like to offer some considerations in the hope that they might enrich the discussions of the Forum and make a useful contribution to its important work.

Ours is a time of notable changes and significant progress in different areas which have important consequences for the life of humanity. In fact, “we must praise the steps being taken to improve people’s welfare in areas such as health care, education and communications” (Evangelii Gaudium, 52), in addition to many other areas of human activity, and we must recognize the fundamental role that modern business activity has had in bringing about these changes, by stimulating and developing the immense resources of human intelligence.

Nonetheless, the successes which have been achieved, even if they have reduced poverty for a great number of people, often have led to a widespread social exclusion. Indeed, the majority of the men and women of our time still continue to experience daily insecurity, often with dramatic consequences.

In the context of your meeting, I wish to emphasize the importance that the various political and economic sectors have in promoting an inclusive approach which takes into consideration the dignity of every human person and the common good. I am referring to a concern that ought to shape every political and economic decision, but which at times seems to be little more than an after-thought.

Those working in these sectors have a precise responsibility towards others, particularly those who are most frail, weak and vulnerable. It is intolerable that thousands of people continue to die every day from hunger, even though substantial quantities of food are available, and often simply wasted.

Likewise, we cannot but be moved by the many refugees seeking minimally dignified living conditions, who not only fail to find hospitality, but often, tragically, perish in moving from place to place.

I know that these words are forceful, even dramatic, but they seek both to affirm and to challenge the ability of this assembly to make a difference. In fact, those who have demonstrated their aptitude for being innovative and for improving the lives of many people by their ingenuity and professional expertise can further contribute by putting their skills at the service of those who are still living in dire poverty.

What is needed, then, is a renewed, profound and broadened sense of responsibility on the part of all. “Business is - in fact - a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engagedin it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life” (Evangelii Gaudium, 203). Such men and women are able to serve more effectively the common good and to make the goods of this world more accessible to all. Nevertheless, the growth of equality demands something more than economic growth, even though it pre-supposes it. It demands first of all “a transcendent vision of the person” (Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 11), because “without the perspective of eternal life, human progress in this world is denied breathing-space” (ibid.).

It also calls for decisions, mechanisms and processes directed to a better distribution of wealth, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality.

I am convinced that from such an openness to the transcendent a new political and businessmentality can take shape, one capable of guiding all economic and financial activity within the horizon of an ethical approach which is truly humane. The international business community can count on many men and women of great personal honesty and integrity, whose work is inspired and guided by high ideals of fairness, generosity and concern for the authentic development of the human family. I urge you to draw upon these great human and moral resources and to take up this challenge with determination and far-sightedness. Without ignoring, naturally, the specific scientific and professional requirements of every context, I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it.

Dear Mr Chairman and friends, I hope that you may see in these brief words a sign of my pastoral concern and a constructive contribution to help your activities to be ever more noble and fruitful. I renew my best wishes for a successful meeting, as I invoke divine blessings on you and the participants of the Forum, as well as on your families and all your work.

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DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Much of what he says is nice, but I am suspicious of this new pope.  He could make a great start by cleaning out the Church of pedophiles.  Then his words would mean more...

Anusocracy's picture

This coming from the head of a very large organization that doesn't create any wealth.

Like government.

SamAdams's picture

Every sentence was followed by a wink-wink....  Society of Jesus, what a joke...

HoofHearted's picture

This guy is lecturing people on wealth distribution? Any idea how all those cathedrals in Europe were built? Where is the new Martin Luther (and, no, I'm not talking about Michael King  who eventually "changed" his name after his daddy did- I'm talking about the REAL Martin Luther) to tell this asshole where he can shove it? 

Clean out the pedophiles, give some of the money back to the peasants from all the ornate gold items plus artwork they have, then this guy can talk to us about redistribution of wealth. Oh, or does he mean more distributing wealth to the Vatican???

koperniuk666's picture

The pope has just announced plans to get child abuse in the Catholic church down to acceptable levels by 2018.


jbvtme's picture

i don't trust this guy.  too clean cut and sincere.  i like the other psychopath with those diabolical peepers and sculpted eye teeth. with him your nite time prayers meant something.

SWRichmond's picture

His motives and the history of the church aside, what makes anyone think that lecturing sociopaths will change their behaviour one iota?

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

The current pope beholden to the black pope of the Jesuits. (The head of the Jesuit order.) The Jesuits are a POWERFUL group, and not all Jesuits are priests...... 


James_Cole's picture

He's the head of a very old very big organization which has had a horrendous history. The man isn't able to snap his fingers and have the whole works suddenly cleaned out overnight. 

He is speaking to 1.2 billion followers though, so his actions and words have impact. Nice to see a non-fascist pope for a change.  

Headbanger's picture

And remember the key word in "Roman Catholic Church" is ROMAN!

After all, it was founded by Emperor Constantine as a means of unifying the Empire under one emperor.

So The Empire has never really vanished entirely and the Pope is more the emperor of this remnant of the Empire rather than a successor to Saint Peter and especially not Jesus!

Grande Tetons's picture

Print and frame that post, as it is a keeper. 

Ziggypig's picture

I agree with everything you said here.


But what the hell does any of that have to do with this post of the Pope and Davos???????? Can we for one moment stop trying to be the smartest in the room and take a speech for what it is. A freaking speech! I am currently banging my head harder on my desk than your animation (Which by the way is great).  

Ghordius's picture

yes, the idea of the Roman Empire has never died, in europe. a concept that does not really need emperors, btw. or just one, since the Roman themselves has sometimes two Augusti and two Caesars, at times

the Holy Roman Empire was just a 1'000 years rerun of this idea: that europeans are a kind of big family

the Austrian, the French and the Germans then tried again to unite Europe. regardless of how they did, note that there was always fertile ground for that - except in England

even Russia raised Caesar's banner - in Russian: Tsar

even the founders of the US of A took the Roman Republic as a model, complete with Senate and Capitol

ponder about that, Headbanger. take a step back and reflect on freaking 2'000 years of centralization and decentralization, cooperation and wars

the Roman concepts still live with us

jcaz's picture

His "followers" are diminishing in number every day,  and the only reason he is speaking now is because he's concerned about the cash flow drying up.......

piceridu's picture

Has anyone been to the Vatican Museum? The Church and its mouthpieces are and have always been hypocrites of the grandest order. The wealth that was gifted to (stolen by, confiscated by) the Vatican makes Goldman Sachs look like a piker. The Church is a government partner...part of the control apparatus that propagates serfdom. 

outamyeffinway's picture

Ahh yes, telling the Devil not to sin. Shame won't work here Popus du Jokus.

pods's picture

I think the criminals at Davos would be more scared of Jules quoting the bible to them than the pope lecturing them.


Sofa King Confused's picture

And Davos says to Pope...............Fuck Off!

Ratscam's picture

totally agree, the vatican owns 25% of all urban italian real estate. what about paying out some 2% yield for their followers.
Aint goona happen! One of the richest organisations does not give a shit about the people on this planet.
Read the book Vatican Inc. by Gianluigi Nuzzi, what scumbag organization.

Headbanger's picture

The ROMAN Catholic Church also owns huge amounts of real estate in the US.


Ratscam's picture

and in France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Romania, Malta, Switzerland, Belgium.......
the world! one of the richest and most corrupt non profit organisations on this planet. Do not believe, Research so that you know!

silvermail's picture

We all live in slavery. Our system is a slavery.
One percent of the super-rich people in the world, divided society into two parts slaves.
One part of the population - it's slaves, who have weapons and powers. These slaves are using weapons and powers to force the second part of the population to be slaves.

BandGap's picture

Wow, crack a book. You actually said the Catholic Church, the largest private land owners in the world, don't create wealth?

You need to get an education.

GernB's picture

The catholic church is indeed powerful if they can create land.

SamAdams's picture

Yes, but I'm told they have ceased manufacture...

jcaz's picture

.... And you think that owning land creates wealth?

You need to get a clue, let alone an education.....

TheReplacement's picture

The great difference is that you don't have to pay the church.  You do have to pay your betters.  Make no mistake, they are better than you.  Arguing otherwise would expose you for a fool since you do pay them, don't you.

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

Exactly the opposite! He is the head of one of the most profitable businesses of all time. Getting suckers to empty their pockets for 2,000 years has bought much real estate and gold. Maybe the Catholic Church should sell all of the opulent shit in Vatican City and live like Jesus. That being said, I actually like this guy. He seems pretty normal for a guy that wears a dress.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I am not a Catholic but I am really beginning to like this man. Yes, we are still in the honeymoon period and time will tell if he is genuine. But, I think for the first time there is a modicum of hope. I think Catholics should be proud to have him as Pope and I hope he isn't assassinated.


Dr. Engali's picture

I am Catholic, and I like him too. He does seem sincere about cleaning up the church. The issue I have is he faults capitalism for the world's economic problems instead of the real problem which is central banks and their debt based currency, as well as cronyism.

AlaricBalth's picture

"Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities. Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system."
Pope Francis I 

OC Sure's picture

"...As every individual, therefore, endeavors as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labors to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it." - Adam Smith An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776).

NidStyles's picture

Funny how it's always the political tools that are used to limit and control the movement of masses from poverty to wealth... Yet those that are already in the position of wealth are always blaming those that support the idea of letting people move beyond their born "caste" for the inequalities that they enjoy very much at everyone's expense.

Grande Tetons's picture

I am also a Catholic who happens to be a Cubs fan. I have been dissapointed my entire life.  I still believe in baseball and hope....so things are not all bad. 

Headbanger's picture

A Cubs fan?  Now that is faith! 

Harbanger's picture

I was a Catholic.  You should know that he's a proponent of Liberation theology, AKA Christian Marxism.


Dr. Engali's picture

Hence my problem with his economic beliefs. I feel he is sincere at heart and he is doing much to shake up a church that needs it, but he does not have a clear understanding of economic issues.

Harbanger's picture

No Marxist is sincere at heart, end of story.

Dr. Engali's picture

From your link:


Francis is uneasy about liberation theology: "The new pope has not been comfortable with liberation theology. It is possible to speak on behalf of the poor without supporting the real fundamental changes that are present with liberation theology.

Harbanger's picture

You're quoting Blase Bonpane, A Guatemalan activist Priest who mediated between Christianity and Marxism in South America.  I don't want to destroy your hope, but don't be surprised when the Pope sounds more concerned about the evils of Capitalism, which we don't have, than the evils of Socialism.

gallistic's picture

Harbanger and Dr. Engali, (yes, I am aware Engali=Catholic)

I do not wish to engage in a sterile, theological debate, but I must make you aware of this and submit it for your own consideration and contemplation.

You are both captured by capitalism's substitution of morality with dollars and cents. You, like many men throughout history, clearly do not understand this substitution of values.

The American brand of Protestantism has been very conveniently accomodating on this score. You are apologists for usury and have become the thieves Jesus himself hated.

You both worship the same Jesus that despised the money men and went to Wall Street (of his day) and kicked their ass. Here are a few Biblical passages to refresh your selective memory.

"And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves."
Matthew 21:12-13, KJV

"And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise."
John 2:13-16, KJV

"And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves."
Mark 11:15-17, KJV

"Contemplate this on the tree of woe"

Harbanger's picture

Let me help you understand something which has been warped in your mind by the christian left.
Jesus did not despise money, he was given Gold by the three wise kings at birth for Gods sake. If he did, he would have trashed something like Trajan's Market, those were the ancient equivalents of modern WS. 
You quoted yourself how he went into the "temple of God", and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple.  What part of "temple of God" didn't you understand.  Is WS the temple of God?  You quoted, how Jesus said my house shall be called the "house of prayer"; but ye have made it a den of thieves.  His house of prayer, like the modern Catholic Church, has abandoned him for riches and sin.

gallistic's picture

Forget the Christian left, it doesn't apply to me at all.

The point was the value substitution involved between what is right and moral and what is profitable and "enriching" ($$$)

No one wins a holy war. I am dropping this.

OC Sure's picture

What if the measure of one's morality IS the dollars they earn? Why separate the two?

assistedliving's picture

"...but he does not have a clear understanding of economic issues."

Who does?  just becuz he's infallible doesnt make him the best HFT of all time..

Elliott Eldrich's picture

IMHO, capitalism IS at fault for the world's economic problems, and here's why I see it this way. Fire is a good thing, but also a very bad thing. Fire can be used to keep a house warm, cook food, fabricate things, all kinds of good stuff. But fire is also very destructive, if you fall into a fire you get badly hurt or can even die, fire left unchecked and uncontained has a nasty habit of consuming most things in its path. So the idea with fire is, it can be very useful, but it is very important to keep it contained and controlled. As Washington noted, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

Now, with that having been said, my argument is that capitalism is a lot like fire. It can be a very good thing, can be very useful for making the stuff and providing the services of modern life. But it can also be a very bad thing, such as when those with lots of money throughly corrupt the political system, deploy "regulatory capture" and then use their power and influence to promote their interests at the expense of everything and everyone else.

I realize some people are so throughly enamored with capitalism that they see it as the answer to every problem, however I am not one of them. I see it more like fire - a dangerous servant and a fearful master, something desperately in need of some form of regulation and containment lest it run wild and wreak havoc. No sane person would want to live without the benefits of fire, but by the same token no sane person would want to try to live in the middle of a runaway firestorm.

TheReplacement's picture

When you describe capitalism as the bad kind of fire you are no longer decribing capitalism. 

Capitalism is like liberty, you have to fight for it.  The weakness is always the human element.

Sort of like understanding or not understanding capitalism...

jcaz's picture

Exactly what is "H" about your "O"?

And then give us an example of a better idea.....

NidStyles's picture

Funny how it's always the political tools that are used to limit and control the movement of masses from poverty to wealth... Yet those that are already in the position of wealth and government are always blaming those that support the idea of letting people move beyond their born "caste" for the inequalities that they enjoy very much at everyone's expense.

highly debtful's picture

A thoughtful and articulate post, as far as I'm concerned. Well said.