On his seventh day of a three country tour of his native Latin America, Pope Francis rails against unbridled capitalism and corruption.
ASUNCIÓN, PARAGUAY (JULY 11, 2015) (REUTERS) – The auditorium at a local college was turned into a makeshift church in Asuncion, Paraguay on Saturday (July 11) for Pope Francis as he spread his message of love, compassion and the environment in South America.
The 78-year-old pontiff is on the seventh day of his three-nation homecoming tour and met with religious leaders and faithful after giving a mass in the city of Caacupe.
At San Jose College’s auditorium he urged politicians and business leaders “not to yield to an economic model which is idolatrous, which needs to sacrifice human lives on the altar of money and profit.”
He said those charged with promoting economic development must ensure it had “a human face” and he blasted “the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose”.
“Corruption is the plague, it’s the gangrene of society,” he added during a heavily improvised speech at the rally, attended by Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes. “If a country really wants to preserve it’s dignity it must yank it out. I am speaking about something universal.”
Francis then made his way to the Cathedral where he delivered his final mass of the day encouraging the clergy to work for the “common good”
“I want to encourage all of you, priests, men and women religious, laite, seminarians, bishops, to be committed to this ecclesial collaboration, especially with regard to diocesan pastoral plans and the continental mission, and to work together with complete availability in the service of the common good.”
Earlier in the day Francis visited a children’s hospital in the capital Asuncion before moving to Caacupe, about 60 km southeast and then back to Asuncion for the afternoon’s activities.
On Friday (July 10) Pope Francis urged Paraguay to consolidate its democracy and do more to help the poor in the country amidst rising growth rates in the predominantly poor Latin American nation.
Paraguay’s economy has grown at a steady clip in recent years because of energy exports and soy prices but the Church and the opposition say more resources should be used to help those on the margins of society.
The pope wraps up his week-long South American tour on Sunday (July 12).