Pope Francis waves to the crowd as he arrives to hold his general audience at St Peter's square, on May 7, 2014 in Vatican city.
Photo by Vincenzo Pinto/Getty

Pope Francis calls for wealth redistribution


Pope Francis on Friday called on United Nations leaders to take better care of the poor and advocated for a “legitimate redistribution” of wealth.

“Equitable economic and social progress can only be attained by joining scientific and technical abilities with an unfailing commitment to solidarity” with the poor, the Pope said, in addition to a new spirit of generosity, according to a transcript published by Vatican Radio. 

In one of the most economically liberal statements made by any Pope, Francis called for “the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the State, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society.”

Francis criticized global wealth inequality and the growing level of poverty and hunger.

“An essential principle of management is the refusal to be satisfied with current results and to press forward,” he said. “Much more needs to be achieved, since an important part of humanity does not share in the benefits of progress and is in fact relegated to the status of second-class citizens.”

Francis added that nations must move away from the “economy of exclusion” in his address to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of major U.N. agencies. They are meeting in Rome this week.

Francis has made a big splash since he becoming pope in March 2013, making bold statements on LGBT equality and sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.

Earlier this week, news broke that the Vatican had defrocked nearly 900 priests in the last decade.