Pope Francis has referred to money as "the devil's dung" in a speech on the weekend at a meeting to promote co-operatives, reports Crux.
The Pope, already famous for his attacks on both “savage capitalism” and corruption, ratcheted up the rhetorical level on Saturday by bluntly referring to money as “the devil’s dung.”
“When it becomes an idol, [it] commands the choices of men [and] makes him a slave,” Francis said. Quoting St Basil of Caesarea, a fourth-century doctor of the Church, as well as his namesake, St Francis of Assisi, the Pope said, “Money is the devil’s dung!”
The comment came in the context of a meeting to promote co-operatives and workers’ “buy-out” initiatives.
“Co-operatives should continue to be the motor that raises and develops the weakest part of our communities and civil society,” the Pope told members of more than 7,000 farm, credit, housing, and supermarket co-ops, members of Italy’s cooperatives confederation, Confcooperative.
“To do everything that [cooperatives] do, you need money!” he said. But, the Pope added, profit should not be their first concern: “An authentic cooperative is that in which capital does not rule over man, but man rules over capital.”
Francis also denounced employers who fire people knowing they’ll be easy to replace, as well as the illegal hiring of domestic help, under-the-table payment of salaries, and a throwaway culture that labels a 49-year-old engineer “too old” to be hired.