pope-francis-economy Pope Francis celebrates Mass in the crypt of the Basilica of St. Francis, in Assisi, Italy, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.
Vatican Media via AP

Pope’s letter indirectly calls out Trump by stating, “Political life no longer has to do with healthy debates about long-term plans to improve people’s lives.”

President Donald Trump continuously boasts that the US has the “greatest economy in history.” However, Pope Francis said that this kind of capitalism mentality is a reason that the pandemic has hurt the most vulnerable communities. 

“The fragility of world-systems in the face of the pandemic has demonstrated that not everything can be resolved by market freedom,” the Pope wrote in an extensive letter titled “Fratelli Tutti” (Brothers All) that was released on Sunday. “It is imperative to have a proactive economic policy directed at ‘promoting an economy that favors productive diversity and business creativity’ and makes it possible for jobs to be created, and not cut.”

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The Pope’s letter laid out his vision for a post-COVID world by uniting the core elements of his social teachings into a new encyclical aimed at inspiring a revived sense of family. 

The letter also touched on several political points that indirectly addressed current leaders in the world using scare tactics and exaggerations to attract their base.

“The best way to dominate and gain control over people is to spread despair and discouragement, even under the guise of defending certain values,” he wrote. “Today, in many countries, hyperbole, extremism, and polarization have become political tools.”

He added, “Political life no longer has to do with healthy debates about long-term plans to improve people’s lives and to advance the common good, but only with slick marketing techniques primarily aimed at discrediting others.” 

Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, said in an interview with The Americano that the Pope’s letter shows how the general public can unite by rejecting divisive leaders, while still being politically involved. 

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“Pope Francis is sending a simple but jarring message to our world: we must move beyond continuous divisiveness and come together to build a world worthy of all God’s children,” Sister Campbell said. “The Pope’s words are an indictment on rampant individualism, ‘got-you’ politics, and economic exploitation. But he is clear that people of faith must engage in politics to create a better world. Pope Francis calls us all to create new systems based on political love—the recognition of human dignity and the common good. This political love is what our nation should aspire to. We need to elect leaders who prioritize the needs of our people and not just the stock market.”

“We need to elect leaders who prioritize the needs of our people and not just the stock market.”

The Pope reinstated that the “trickle-down” economic theory doesn’t work, writing that “There is little appreciation of the fact that the alleged ‘spillover’ does not resolve the inequality that gives rise to new forms of violence threatening the fabric of society.”

Click here to read the Pope’s entire letter. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.