Pope demands 'legitimate redistribution' of wealth

Pope Demands 'Legitimate Redistribution' Of Wealth


By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis called Friday for governments to redistribute wealth to the poor in a new spirit of generosity to help curb the "economy of exclusion" that is taking hold today.

Francis made the appeal during a speech to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of major U.N. agencies who met in Rome this week.

Latin America's first pope has frequently lashed out at the injustices of capitalism and the global economic system that excludes so much of humanity, though his predecessors have voiced similar concerns.

On Friday, Francis called for the United Nations to promote a "worldwide ethical mobilization" of solidarity with the poor in a new spirit of generosity.

He said a more equal form of economic progress can be had through "the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society."

Francis voiced a similar message to the World Economic Forum in January and in his apostolic exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel." That document, which denounced trickle-down economic theories as unproven and naive, provoked accusations in the U.S. that he was a Marxist.

Francis urged the U.N. to promote development goals that attack the root causes of poverty and hunger, protect the environment and ensure dignified labor for all.

"Specifically, this involves challenging all forms of injustices and resisting the economy of exclusion, the throwaway culture and the culture of death which nowadays sadly risk becoming passively accepted," he said.

Friday's audience came just days after the Holy See was battered in a second round of grilling by a U.N. committee over its record of handling priestly sex abuse. Neither the pope nor Ban spoke of the issue, but Francis referred to another topic at the U.N. hearings: the church's opposition to abortion. He called for respect for life "from conception to natural death" and his denunciation of the "culture of death" echoed previous papal exhortations against abortion.

During the meeting, Ban invited Francis to speak to the United Nations. The Vatican hasn't confirmed any such trip, but Francis is widely expected to visit the U.S. in September 2015 to participate in a church meeting on families in Philadelphia, making a U.N. stop then likely.

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Pope demands 'legitimate redistribution' of wealth
Pope Francis gestures in St.Peter's square at Vatican during his weekly general audience on March 5, 2014. Pope Francis has defended the Catholic Church's record on tackling the sexual abuse of children by priests, saying 'no-one else has done more' to root out paedophilia. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis waves at faithfuls upon his arrival at St.Peter's square for the weekly general audience on March 5, 2014. The pontiff today has defended the Catholic Church's record on tackling the sexual abuse of children by priests, saying 'no-one else has done more' to root out paedophilia. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis smiles as he wear a military Alpine hat upon his arrival at St.Peter's square for the weekly general audience on March 5, 2014. The pontiff today has defended the Catholic Church's record on tackling the sexual abuse of children by priests, saying 'no-one else has done more' to root out paedophilia. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis (L) shakes hand with the Spanish Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela (R) during an audience at the Vatican on March 3, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS (Photo credit should read OSSERVATORE ROMANO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis exchanges gifts with the Prime Minister of Romania Victor Ponta (R) as his wife and European Parliament Member Daciana Sarbu (L) looks on during a private audience in the pontiff's studio at the Vatican on March 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ALESSANDRA TARANTINO (Photo credit should read ALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis greets a child dressed up as a pope as he arrives for his general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on February 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS (Photo credit should read OSSERVATORE ROMANO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives for his general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on February 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis kisses a boy as he arrives for his general audience in St Peter's Square at the Vatican on February 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 24: Pope Francis (C) meets the president of the Republic of Haiti, Michael Joseph Martelly at his private library on February 24, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Pope announced February 24, first overhaul of the Vatican bureaucracy in 25 years. (Photo by Vatican Pool/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 21: Pope Francis arrives at the Paul VI Hall for the Extraordinary Consistory on the themes of Family on February 21, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis will create 19 new cardinals during his first consistory on February 22, 2014. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 21: Pope Francis greets cardinals as he arrives at the Synod Hall for the morning session of Extraordinary Consistory on the themes of Family on February 21, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis will create 19 new cardinals during his first consistory on February 22. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Pope Francis hold the gospel as he celebrates mass together with new appointed cardinals in St Peter's basilica at the Vatican on February 23, 2014. Pope Francis create his first batch of cardinals, with 19 coming from South America, Africa and Asia. The new 'princes of the Church' with scarlet-red birettas and gold rings at a grandiose ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica that Vatican observers say should help correct a perceived bias towards European cardinals. AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis salutes the crowd as he arrives for his general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on February 19, 2014. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis is welcomed by faithfuls while arriving for a visit to the parish of San Tommaso on the outskirts of Rome on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis is welcomed by faithfuls while arriving for a visit to the parish of San Tommaso on the outskirts of Rome on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 14: Pope Francis waves the crowd during a Valentine's Day celebration at the St Peter's square in Vatican City, Vatican, on February 14, 2014. Almost 20.000 couple gather to celebrate Valentine's Day at the St Peter's square. (Photo by Evren Atalay/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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