attacks mega-salaries, big bonuses, in peace message
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[December 12, 2013]
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) — Pope Francis
attacked mega-salaries and big bonuses on Thursday, saying in the first
peace message of his pontificate that they are symptoms of an economy
based on greed and inequality.
In his message for the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Peace,
marked by the Church around the world on January 1, he also called
for more sharing of wealth among people and nations to narrow the
gap between the rich and poor.
"The grave financial and economic crises of the present time ...
have pushed man to seek satisfaction, happiness and security in
consumption and earnings out of all proportion to the principles of
a sound economy," he said.
"The succession of economic crises should lead to a timely
rethinking of our models of economic development and to a change in
lifestyles," he said.
Francis, who was named Time magazine's Person of the Year on
Wednesday, has urged his own Church to be more fair, frugal and less
pompous and to be closer to the poor and suffering.
His message will be sent to national leaders, international
organizations such as the United Nations, and NGO's.
Titled "Fraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace," the
message also attacked injustice, human trafficking, organized crime
and the weapons trade as obstacles to peace.
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The new pope's style is characterized by frugality. He shunned the
spacious papal apartment in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace to live
in a small suite in a Vatican guest house, and he prefers a Ford
Focus to the traditional pope's Mercedes.
A champion of the downtrodden, he visited the island of Lampedusa in
southern Italy in July to pay tribute to hundreds of migrants who
had died crossing the sea from North Africa.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; editing by Louise Ireland)
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