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Pope warns of 'oppressive' power of finance, media

February 16, 2012

The world of finance “has become an oppressive power—one that almost has to be worshipped,” Pope Benedict XVI said on February 15 during a visit to Rome’s major seminary.

During his remarks, the Holy Father alluded to the intense scrutiny of the Vatican in recent Italian media coverage. “There is much talk about the Church of Rome,” he said. Since the current coverage is dominated by allegations of financial mismanagement, the Pope said: “Let us hope that people also talk about our faith.” Pope Benedict then spoke at length about the power wielded by the financial markets and by the media in today’s worlds. Both finance and the media are necessary, he said, but both “so easy to abuse that they often become the contrary of their true intentions.”

Finance, the Pope said, has today become a “false divinity that truly dominates the world.” And in the media, a concern for superficial appearances “overlies the truth and becomes more important.”

In response to these powerful influences, the Pope said, Christians must “be nonconformists.” Christians should not bow to the powers of finance and of appearances. "Christian non-conformism redeems us and restores us to truth,” he said.


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