Pope Francis Issues a New 'Thou Shalt Not'

He writes that we must say no 'to an economy of exclusion and inequality'

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 26, 2013 11:21 AM CST

(Newser) – Pope Francis is a published author of a major work for the first time under that name, having issued his first apostolic exhortation. The topic: money. The 224-page document rails against unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny," and had this to say: "How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?" He implored the rich to share their wealth, explaining that just as we are guided by the words "'Thou shalt not kill' ... we also have to say 'thou shalt not' to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills."

Reuters reports Francis took a less academic approach than many of his predecessors in the exhortation, titled Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). And while he completed an encyclical over the summer, that one had largely been written by Pope Benedict; this is the first under his name only. Meanwhile, a new analysis by the Pew Research Center has found that while Francis enjoys wide support among Americans (79% of Catholics and 58% of the public view him favorably), there had been no "Pope Francis effect" here: The number of Americans who identify as Catholic (22%) and the number of Catholics who attend church weekly (39%) haven't budged year over year.

Pope Francis delivers his blessing as he arrives for an audience with healthcare workers, in the Pope Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013.
Pope Francis delivers his blessing as he arrives for an audience with healthcare workers, in the Pope Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
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