Pope Francis Denounces the Prosperity Gospel and Exploitation of the Poor

via Vatican Radio:

“Riches in themselves are good,” the Pope explained, but they are “relative, not absolute” goods. He criticized the so-called “theology of prosperity”— according to which “God shows you that you are just if He gives you great riches,” saying those who follow it are mistaken. The problem lies in being attached to wealth, because, as the Pope recalled, “You cannot serve both God and riches.” These become “chains” that “take away the freedom to follow Jesus.”

When riches are created by exploiting the people, by those rich people who exploit [others], they take advantage of the work of the people, and those poor people become slaves. We think of the here and now, the same thing happens all over the world. “I want to work.” “Good, they’ll make you a contract, from September to June.” Without a pension, without health care… Then they suspend it, and in July and August they have to eat air. And in September, they laugh at you about it. Those who do that are true bloodsuckers, and they live by spilling the blood of the people who they make slaves of labour.

These rich people, he said, “grow fat on their riches”—but the Apostle warns: “You have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.” “The blood of all these people that you have sucked,” and on which “you have lived, is a cry to the Lord, it is a cry of justice. The exploitation of the people,” the Pope said, “today is truly a form of slavery.”

This is starving the people with their work for my own profit! Living on the blood of the people. And this is a mortal sin. This is a mortal sin. And this demands a great deal of penance, a great deal of restitution, in order to be converted from this sin.