Pope Francis got a warm welcome as he made his way to the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, where more than 7,000 people were waiting to hear him speak. They're all members of the Italian based co-op movement known as the Italian Cooperative Confraternity.
The Pope talked about the need for a just economy, adding that people become slaves when
they turn money into a god or idol.
Employers, he said, should not take advantage of the economic crisis, when they look to hire new employees.
"We see this often. An employer will ask, do you want a job? Come on over. It's a 10 or 11 hour a day job for 600 euros. Do you agree? No? Well, go back home. Why does the world function like this?”
The need for solidarity and cooperation is a must, he added. Especially in light of Italy's high unemployment rate.
Looking forward, he encouraged the crowd to look for new venues that promote innovation and ethical economics.
"Methods, adjustments and tools to fight against the throw away culture. It's something we see today. It's a throw away culture that's cultivated by the powers that control the economic and financial policies of a globalized world.”
The Italian association, was first founded in 1919. It was suppressed by the Fascist Regime, but eventually it was re-established in 1945.