via Vatican News:
Hundreds of millions of people, said the Pope, are struggling in extreme poverty, and are lacking food, housing, healthcare, schooling, electricity, and drinkable water. Around 5 million children will die this year of causes related to poverty, he said.
Pope Francis added that rising income inequality has also left millions of people as victims of forced labor, prostitution, and organ trafficking.
These facts should impel us to take action, and not to fall into despair.
“These are solvable problems,” he said. “We are not condemned to global inequality.”
Poverty can be overcome, said the Pope, if an economic system is put in place that includes, feeds, cures, and dresses those left behind by society.
“We have to choose what and who to prioritize,” he said. Our choice will lead either to increased social injustice and violence, or to “humanizing socio-economic systems”….
And he condemned recurrent tax breaks for wealthy individuals as “structures of sin”. “Every year hundreds of millions of dollars – which should be collected as taxes and go to finance healthcare and education – instead end up in offshore accounts,” he said….
“Social protection, a basic income, healthcare for all, and universal education,” he said, are “economic rights” that form the basis of human solidarity.