The lack of work produces suffering. In a blunt speech to labor representatives at the Italian island of Sardinia, Pope Francis spoke of the evils of unemployment.
"A suffering, the lack of jobs, that leads to, and forgive me if I sound dramatic, but it's true, to feel like having no dignity! When there's no work, there's no dignity! And this isn't just a Sardianian problem, but it's strikes really hard here! It isn't just a problem of Italy, or some countries of Europe, it is the consequence of a world, an economic system that has its center in an idol called money.”
The Pope paid close attention to the cases of three victims of the economic crisis: an unemployed worker, a shepherd and a businesswoman. The first reminded how tragic unemployment can be.
"Holy Father, my name is Franceso. I'm an operator of the Sardinia Green Island and sinceFebruary 2nd 2009, more than four years ago, I haven't had a job. Please, let me bring up two coworkers that have lost their lives because of this drama: Marcelo y Mauricio.”
The Pope pleaded for an end to the throwaway culture that leaves youth and the elderly aside.
"We must say 'No' to this 'throwaway culture'. We mus say: 'We want a fair system!' A system in which we all can carry on. We must say: 'We don't want this globalized economic system that is so harmful! Man and woman must be in the center, just as God wants, and not money!”
Deeply impressed with their testimonies, the Pope left aside his prepared speech.
"I had written something for you, but now these words came to me. I will give my speech afterward to the Bishops, as if I had read it. But I have preferred to say aloud what my heart feels right now.”
Pope encouraged all workers to have hope and to let no one take it away. Francis asked them to fight together so that men, women and their families are in the center of life, and not money.