(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday denounced the idolotry of money over man.
Speaking to some 20,000 workers and entrepreneurs and workers who have been made redundent after his arrival in Sardinia's capital Cagliari, the Pope offered words of hope to those struggling to make ends meet.
listen to Linda Bordoni's report...
``It's easy to say `don't lose hope,''' he said. ``But to all of you who have work, and to those who don't, let me tell you: Don't let yourselves be robbed of hope.''
And using strong words, he denounced what he called big business's idolatry of money over man, and he offered hope to the unemployed and the entrepreneurs who are particularly hard-hit by the economic crisis in one of Italy’s poorest regions.
Francis left aside his prepared remarks and spoke off the cuff to the tens of thousands gathered to be with him, telling them he knew well what it was like to suffer from financial crisis.
He recalled that his Italian parents, who immigrated to Argentina before he was born, spoke about it often at home.
And he said “it's easy for a priest to come and tell the poor to have courage” but he assured those present he really meant it, and called for dignified work for all.
"Where there is no work” he said “there is no dignity."
And the Pope noted that the problems in Sardinia weren't the island's alone. He said they were the result of a global economic system "that has at its center an idol called money."
Pope sardinia 2
And the Pope’s busy schedule included a lunch meeting with the bishops, and in the afternoon a meeting with a group of homeless people and prison inmates who are assisted by the local Caritas organization, an encounter with representatives of culture, and a meeting with young people.
He is scheduled to board a flight back to the Vatican as we come off air at 6.30pm local time.