Pope Francis on inequality, tax evasion and corruption

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Obama and Pope Francis in 2014

Obama and Pope Francis in 2014

Eric LeCompte of Jubilee USA Network has written a useful article on the occasion of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, in which he’s highlighted some important historical quotes of his. For instance:

“Working for a just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labor is not mere philanthropy. It is a moral obligation. For Christians, the responsibility is even greater: it is a commandment. It is about giving to the poor and to peoples what is theirs by right. The universal destination of goods is not a figure of speech found in the Church’s social teaching. It is a reality prior to private property. Property, especially when it affects natural resources, must always serve the needs of peoples. And those needs are not restricted to consumption. It is not enough to let a few drops fall whenever the poor shake a cup which never runs over by itself. Welfare programs geared to certain emergencies can only be considered temporary responses. They will never be able to replace true inclusion

– July 9, 2015″

Another goes like this:

“[There] is widespread corruption and selfish tax evasion which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The will for power and possession has become limitless.”
– May 16, 2013

Quite so.

(In an apparent non sequitur – but this is ultimately an issue of inequality – one might wonder what Pope Francis would think of what this peculiar article has unearthed about Britain’s Privy Council, which among other things is the final court of appeal for Britain’s tax havens.)

 


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About The Author

Nicholas Shaxson is a journalist and writer on the staff of Tax Justice Network. He is author of the book Poisoned Wells about the oil industry in Africa, published in 2007, and the more recent Treasure Islands: Tax havens and the Men who Stole the World, published by Random House in January 2011. He lives in Berlin
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