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Pope Francis: peace and dignified work for all

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis traveled to the Italian island of Sardinia on Sunday, during which he renewed his appeal for peace and denounced what he called big business’s idolatry of money over man. He extended a message of hope to both unemployed workers and entrepreneurs who are particularly hard-hit by the economic crisis in one of Italy’s most struggling regions. Listen to our report: RealAudioMP3

Leaving aside his prepared remarks, Pope Francis spoke off the cuff to thousands of people in Sardinia's capital, Cagliari, 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. He called for dignified work for all. “Where there is no work,” he said, “there is no dignity.”

Pope Francis went on to note that the problems in Sardinia are not the island’s alone, saying they are the result of a global economic system, “that has at its centre an idol called money.”

The Holy Father’s visit also included meetings with young people, poor people and detainees who receive help from the local Caritas organization, with representatives of the world of culture, and with cloistered religious sisters.

Finally, during his meeting with young people, Pope Francis had an appeal for peace in Pakistan, where more than 70 people were killed in a bomb attack on a church. “[On Sunday] in Pakistan,” said Pope Francis, “because of a wrong choice, of hatred, of war, an attack was made and 70 people died. This road leads nowhere,” he said, “you do not need it.” He went on to say, “The path of peace is the only one that builds a better world! But if you do not take that path yourselves, if you yourselves do not build, no one else will! This is the problem, and this is the question that I leave: “Am I willing to take a road to build a better world?”