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Pope in Santa Marta: Getting rich by exploiting workers is like sucking blood

2016-05-19

During his Thursday homily at Casa Santa Marta, the Pope criticized those entrepreneurs who get rich by exploiting workers and convert the poor into slaves. Pope Francis said they are "true leeches."

POPE FRANCIS
"We consider this drama of today: the exploitation of the people, the blood of these people who become slaves, the traffickers of people—and not just those who deal in prostitutes and children for child labour, but that trafficking we might call 'civilized:' 'I’ll pay you this much, without vacation, without health care, without… everything under the table… But I will become rich!'”

The Pope recalled that a young woman told him she had found a job working 11 hours a day for less than 700 euros a month.

Therefore, he said, slave labor is not a thing of the past when slaves were bought in Africa, but something very current. Those who practice it, Pope Francis recalled, treat people without justice.

EXCERPTS FROM PAPAL HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)

"When riches are created by exploiting the people, by those rich people who exploit [others], they take advantage of the work of the people, and those poor people become slaves. We think of the here and now, the same thing happens all over the world. "I want to work.” "Good, they’ll make you a contract, from September to June.” Without a pension, without health care… Then they suspend it, and in July and August they have to eat air. And in September, they laugh at you about it. Those who do that are true bloodsuckers, and they live by spilling the blood of the people who they make slaves of labour.”

"Yesterday, in the Audience, we meditated on the rich glutton and Lazarus. But, this rich man was in his own world, he didn’t realize that on the other side of the door of his house, there was someone who was starving. But this is worse. That rich man, at least, did not realize, and left the other man to die of hunger. But this is worse. This is starving the people with their work for my own profit! Living on the blood of the people. And this is a mortal sin. This is a mortal sin. And this demands a great deal of penance, a great deal of restitution, in order to be converted from this sin.”

"We consider this drama of today: the exploitation of the people, the blood of these people who become slaves, the traffickers of people—and not just those who deal in prostitutes and children for child labour, but that trafficking we might call 'civilized:' 'I’ll pay you this much, without vacation, without health care, without… everything under the table… But I will become rich!' May the Lord make us understand today the simplicity that Jesus speaks to us of in the Gospel of today: a glass of water in the name of Christ is more important than all the riches accumulated through the exploitation of the people.” 

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